No travel ban to countries with MERS-CoV– Palace

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The Philippines will not ban travel to countries where cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported, Malacañang said on Saturday.

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Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the World Health Organization (WHO) does not see any reason to impose a travel ban to South Korea and Thailand despite the increasing number of MERS-CoV cases there.

“Wala pong ganyang advisory. Kasunod din po ‘yan ‘nung paglilinaw ni Health Secretary Janette Garin na wala rin po tayong advisory para sa paglalakbay sa South Korea [We don’t have such advisory. This is in accordance with Health Secretary Janette Garin’s pronouncement that we do not have a travel advisory to South Korea],” Coloma said in a radio interview.

At least 23 have died from the deadly virus in South Korea, while Thailand has confirmed its first MERS-CoV case.

The Palace official said the Philippine government is ready for the threat of MERS-CoV.

He said the government has quarantine procedures in place to identify and deal with people suspected to have MERS-COV. Authorities have also intensified its information campaign among overseas Filipino workers, especially health professionals from countries that have cases of MERS-CoV.

Earlier, the Philippine Embassy in Seoul warned Filipinos to take precautionary measures when going outside so as not to catch the virus.

They also urged Filipinos to practice proper hygiene and consult doctors and specialists as soon as symptoms occur.

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