MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will temporarily ban all travelers from the Hubei, the Chinese province at the epicenter of a virus outbreak that has spread beyond the country's borders, a lawmaker said Friday.
Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, a former longtime aide of Duterte, said he urged the president to suspend travel from Hubei and its capital Wuhan.
"Sang-ayon po si Pangulo na iimplementa ang temporary travel ban sa mga manggagaling mula Wuhan city and the entire Hubei province ng China," Go said in a statement.
(The President has agreed to implement a temporarily travel van on people from Wuhan city and the entire Hubei province.
Duterte and other officials are studying restricting travel from other places hit by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has killed at least 212 and infected some 7,800, Go said.
“The Duterte administration takes this threat seriously. I am appealing to the public to cooperate with authorities in order to ensure the safety of everyone,” said the lawmaker.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said late Thursday that it was declaring the outbreak a global emergency, as cases spread to at least 18 countries.
The Philippines on the same day confirmed its first case of the pathogen: a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, where the virus first surfaced.
Many countries have already urged their citizens not to visit China while some have banned entry for travelers from Wuhan. With a report from Agence France-Presse