Govt urged to restrict travel from nations with new COVID-19 strain


Posted at Dec 28 2020 08:02 AM | Updated as of Dec 28 2020 08:08 AM

Govt urged to restrict travel from nations with new COVID-19 strain 1
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 lies mostly empty on December 23, 2020, two days before Christmas. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Government should not wait for other nations to have local transmissions of the new COVID-19 strain in order to restrict travel, a public health expert said Monday.

The Philippines has prohibited travelers from the UK to enter the country until January 14 but only imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on travelers from countries that have recorded the new COVID-19 variant.

Dr. Tony Leachon, a former adviser of the National Task Force against COVID-19, cited the country's post-holiday surge and lack of vaccine.

"Ang personal opinion ko diyan, di na tayo dapat maghintay kasi may transmission na sa epicenter ng bagong variant at yan ay nasa United Kingdom," Leachon told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(My personal opinion is we should not wait because the epicenter of the new variant which is the United Kingdom already has local transmission.)

"Tayo may lack of vaccine, meron tayong surge at mas marami ang cases natin kumpara sa last year so dapat di na tayo maghintay, baka by that time naghalo-halo na ang old strain from the new strain. Mahirap po at malaki ang magiging problema natin pagka nagkataon po yun."

(We lack vaccines, we have a surge and we have more cases than last year so we should not wait. By that time, the old and new strain may have already mixed. That would be a huge and difficult problem for us.)

The Philippines as of Sunday reported 469,886 cases of COVID-19, with 22,099 active infections.

Watch more on iWantTFC