MANILA: The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration will temporarily stop issuing tourist visas on arrival to Chinese nationals to help ensure the country remained free of the new coronavirus, its head said on Tuesday (Jan 28).
“We are taking this proactive measure to slow down travel, and possibly help prevent the entry of the 2019-nCov,” Jaime Morente, the bureau’s commissioner said in a statement.
The virus outbreak, which began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has infected more than 4,000 people in China and killed more than 100.
Cases have also been confirmed in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal and the United States.
The virus has caused alarm because it is still too early to know how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. Also because it is new, humans have not been able to build immunity to it.
The World Health Organization said on Monday that it remained unclear if the deadly virus is contagious during its incubation period, before symptoms appear.
It did not immediately confirm assertions made by Chinese authorities that people who are infected can spread the disease before they show any symptoms of fever or respiratory difficulties.
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