The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines waiting for official confirmation of new COVID-19 variant in China before issuance of travel ban – Palace

January 8, 2021

Malacañang said on Thursday that the government is waiting for the official confirmation about the new variant of coronavirus disease in China before it is included in the list of countries with travel restrictions.

In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the alleged case of new strain of COVID-19 in China was only based on media reports.

"It's confirmation was not reported yet by the international agencies. What we only knew are (based) on media reports. So, let's wait for the confirmation," he said.

"And if there's confirmation, of course, they will also be included in the list. As of now, there's no confirmation," Roque added.

The Philippines has imposed travel restrictions in 27 countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States where there are reported cases of new variant of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Roque said the roll out of COVID-19 vaccine by the local government units should be based on the decision of the national government and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

"So, all the LGUs should follow. It (distribution of vaccine) should be geographical priority, those with high cases - Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, including Calabarzon; and then when it comes to sectoral, we will prioritize the medical frontliners, senior citizens, and other crucial workers. Also included are the men and women in uniform," he said.

Some LGUs have earmarked funds for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents. Celerina Monte/DMS