Extend travel ban to monitor new COVID-19 strain — OCTA

Published January 13, 2021, 11:53 AM

by Noreen Jazul

A member of the OCTA Research team has urged the government to extend the country’s travel ban to more than 30 countries for two more weeks.

In an interview over DZMM Teleradyo on Wednesday, Dr. Guido David  David said the possibility that the new variant has entered the country should not be dismissed just yet.


He suggested a two-week monitoring period considering the most recent discovery of a new variant in South Africa and Nigeria, thereby opening the possibility that this strain has spread to other countries.

“Di pa tapos yung kaso ng variant. [Hindi] dahil di na mainit yung balita ng bagong variant ‘di ibig sabihin na wala na ‘yan (The case of the new variant is not over. Just because you don’t hear about the new variant as often in the news, that doesn’t mean it no longer exists),” he said.

The travel restriction imposed by the government in 33 countries will end on Jan. 15, Friday.

Countries covered by the travel ban include China, South Korea, United States, Japan, Brazil, Australia, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman, Austria, China, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, and Spain.

If the government decides to lift the travel restrictions, David said strict border control in airports must be put in place.

“Kailangan strict pati yung monitoring at quarantine. Kailangan strictly nila mapatupad yan talagang 14 days. Sa ibang bansa nga ‘di lang 14 days (There should be strict monitoring and quarantine. They need to strictly implement the 14-day quarantine. Actually in other countries, quarantine is more than 14 days),” David said.