The new coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
DUBAI – The Philippines on Tuesday (January 28) announced it would stop issuing visas on arrival for Chinese travelers as part of measures against the spread of novel coronavirus.
The death toll in the outbreak rose to 106 on Tuesday, with 4,500 confirmed cases causing China to take drastic measures, including a lockdown of its cities.
The Philippine Bureau of Immigration said it is temporarily suspending the issuance of visa upon arrival for Chinese nationals as a “proactive measure”.
“We are now temporarily suspending the issuance of [visa on arrival] for Chinese nationals to slow down the influx of group tours,” said Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.
He clarified that there is no order barring Chinese nationals from entering the Philippines, but that the suspension of visas on arrival for Chinese tourists is a “proactive measure to slow down travel, and possibly help prevent the entry of the [new coronavirus}”.
The Civil Aeronautics Board earlier suspended Philippine-bound flights from Wuhan in central China, the epicenter of the virus.
Philippine authorities said that measures are in place to strictly check all arriving passengers at all points of entry into the Philippines.
The new coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and there is no specific cure or vaccine. The virus is thought to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan.
The virus can spread between people and Chinese authorities said the virus was like a normal flu and is able to spread during its incubation period and before any symptoms appeared.
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