Video courtesy of DOH
MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 is looking into imposing travel restrictions on additional countries that recently detected the new COVID-19 variant.
“Ngayong hapon, may technical working group meeting ang IATF…Technical representatives will be discussing the additional list and what would be the government response,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.
(This afternoon, the IATF will have a technical working group meeting… Technical representatives will be discussing the additional list and what would be the government response.)
The latest country to face travel restrictions is the United States. Other territories already covered by the policy are the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, and Spain.
While international media has reported more countries detecting the new and supposedly more infectious variant, Vergeire said they have yet to receive the official announcement of those countries.
“And ang isa sa nagiging delays natin or actually one of the challenge we are now facing would be the confirmation from these specific countries,” Vergeire said.
(One of the delays or challenges we are now facing would be the confirmation from these specific countries.)
The health official said they found official statements from the website of the 6 out of 12 countries that reported the new variant.
“But through the focal points for each country, we are not receiving any response. That is why we are having a hard time confirming especially for the additional countries besides the 6,” she said.
Vergeire said they already reached out to the World Health Organization for help.
Other territories that reportedly have the new COVID variant but are not yet facing restrictions from the Philippines are India, Finland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Portugal, Chile, and Turkey.
The Philippines has recorded 477,807 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Sunday, including 20,292 active infections, 9,244 deaths, and 448,258 recoveries.