Doctor urges quarantine, testing of all travelers amid Omicron threat


Posted at Nov 30 2021 03:11 PM

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MANILA – The government must impose stricter measures on all travelers entering the Philippines, regardless of whether or not they come from countries that have already recorded cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the head of the Philippine College of Physicians said Tuesday. 

Dr. Maricar Limpin said imposing a single policy on all travelers would show there is no discrimination as well ensure that borders are being controlled. 

“We do not actually know who among the travelers will actually carry this new variant. So I think it is safer if we apply one policy for all. There is always wisdom in being consistent. And one consistency will be just to be to apply one policy for all travelers regardless where they’re coming from,” she said on ANC's Rundown. 

“So putting them immediately on quarantine as soon as they come in and then testing them on the fifth day, I think that will [suffice] to really make sure that we will be able to contain the entry of the virus into the country.”

Limpin said border controls are still the best way to prevent the entry of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the country.

“And then of course, for our fellowmen we have to always ensure that we adhere to the minimum health standards so that is actually the only way that we can do it.”

“And then of course that will be on top of, you know, getting the vaccination program really going, and we have to get it going fast so that we will be able to vaccinate as much of our countrymen as possible.”

The government body tasked with controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines has banned travelers from 7 European countries, in addition to the 7 African nations it earlier placed under the travel Red List.

Travelers coming from countries in the red list are not allowed to enter the Philippines, regardless of their vaccination status.

Travelers from Green and Yellow list countries, however, are allowed into the country, provided they follow testing and quarantine protocols as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19.

--ANC, 30 November 2021