Locsin questions IATF's decision to include Italy in PH red list; wants reconsideration

Published December 1, 2021, 8:26 PM

by Betheena Unite

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has questioned the inclusion of Italy in the Philippines’ red list amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Locsin hit the decision of the country’s pandemic task force to include Italy in the red list which bans the entry of all foreign travelers from the foreign country until Dec. 15.

He took his frustration to Twitter on Wednesday, Dec. 1, questioning the decision, saying the interagency task force (IATF) “extrapolated” a surge despite Italy’s only having one case of the new variant as of Nov. 28.

“Why is Italy on the red list?” Locsin lashed out.

“On the basis of the WHO (World Health Organization) Report of November 28, 2021 that there is one solitary case of infection, IATF’s Data Analytics Group extrapolated a surge,” the Philippine top diplomat added.

Locsin also stressed that with this development, “Our famously warm relations with Italy went down the drain,” adding that he wants “a reconsideration based on science.”

There are currently 14 countries under the red list. These are South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy.

Inbound travel of all persons from the red list territories, including those who have been there over the past 14 days prior to their arrival to the Philippines, will not be allowed.