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Now Reading: VIRUS SCARE | BI suspends visa upon arrival for Chinese nationals
VIRUS SCARE | BI suspends visa upon arrival for Chinese nationals
January 28, 2020 , 11:47 AM

JANUARY 28, 2020 — The immigration bureau on Tuesday suspended temporarily granting of visa to arriving Chinese tourists as a measure to prevent the possible of the deadly the novel coronavirus spreading globally from Wuhan, China.

Jaime Morente, head of the Bureau of Immigration, said the travel restriction was imposed to slow down the entry of Chinese nationals in the Philippines every day, protecting the country from the disease which has killed more than 100.

The Philippines said there are no confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the country.

“We are now temporarily suspending the issuance of VUA for Chinese nationals to slow down the influx of group tours,” Morente said, adding the Civil Aeronautics Board has already suspended direct flights from Wuhan province.

The move comes after the lockdown of several cities in China, including Wuhan, which became the epicenter for the virus, and several others in its immediate surrounding.

However, Morente clarified that Chinese nationals are not barred from entering the Philippines and that the suspension is only meant to curb arrivals from the origin of the novel coronavirus.

Morente said Chinese tour groups are the ones who often use the VUA facility.

THREE UNDER OBSERVATION

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed that three Chinese nationals have been admitted to the San Lazaro Hospital due to signs of the flu.

Two of the three patients were found to have travel history from Wuhan City but the Department of Health has yet to confirm their arrival in the Philippines.

The three patients remain under examination pending the results of the test of their specimens.

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