DOLE urges DOH to lift travel ban to Taiwan

Robie de Guzman   •   February 13, 2020   •   172

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday said it has requested the Department of Health (DOH) to lift the travel ban for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Taiwan amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has coordinated with the DOH for his request to review its decision and lift the temporary travel ban soon.

“For those who are affected by the travel ban in Taiwan, we ask for your patience and in a few days, there will be a review. While waiting for the lifting of the ban, we are providing financial assistance,” Bello said.

The labor chief assured that stranded overseas workers who are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will receive P10,000 financial assistance amid the crisis.

Affected OFWs will also be provided with accommodation, food and transportation assistance.

Bello asked stranded OFWs to wait for the result of the assessment for the next three to five days.

“We are seeking understanding from our OFWs because the implementation of a temporary ban by the DOH is for your own safety as well,” he said.

“We hope for a possible lifting of the ban in a few days,” he added.

The Philippine government earlier imposed a travel ban on China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. It later expanded the travel restrictions to include Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government questioned the Philippines’ move and reportedly warned to impose countermeasures should the latter keeps the entry ban.

Filipino worker in Hong Kong tests negative of novel coronavirus

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino worker in Hong Kong who was placed under observation for contracting novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is expected to be released within the week after testing negative of the virus, the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong said Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, the consulate said the infection of the Filipino migrant worker is the first reported case involving a household worker in Hong Kong.

Citing a report from the Hong Kong Health Department, the Consulate two more Filipinos were released Tuesday after completing their 14-day mandatory quarantine.

There were eight Filipinos placed on quarantine for possible infection of COVID-19. Seven have so far been released.

The consulate said the remaining Filipino undergoing quarantine is healthy and asymptomatic, and will possibly be released on Friday, February 28.

As of February 24, Hong Kong has 81 confirmed coronavirus cases with two fatalities as reported by China’s National Health Commission.

The commission also said that the death toll in mainland China has reached 2,663 with confirmed infections of 77,658.

850 people infected with coronavirus in Japan

UNTV News   •   February 25, 2020

Japan confirmed ten new cases of novel coronavirus infection on Monday, driving the number of infected patients up to 850.

Of the ten infected, four were in Hokkaido and one of them a teacher. Thus the local authorities decided to suspend classes of the school where the teacher works from Tuesday to March 6.

The total confirmed cases in Tokyo Prefecture reached 32, including three new confirmed cases on Monday.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed on Monday that a staff member of the Ministry and a quarantine officer who worked at the cruise ship got infected.

So far, six civil servants, two quarantine officers, three staff members of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and a staffer of the Cabinet Secretariat, who worked on Diamond Princess cruise ship have been infected with the disease.

Japanese experts on Monday issued a statement saying the coming one to two weeks will be a critical time for the disease to spread rapidly or subside.

The statement also says confirmed cases without identified infection sources have emerged in several places, implying that the epidemic may speed up spreading and asks the people to avoid gathering. (CCTV via Reuters Connect)

South Korean president vows to win battle against COVID-19 during visit to Daegu

UNTV News   •   February 25, 2020

In his first visit to Daegu since the outbreak began, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday (February 25) that the government will “win the fight” against the coronavirus as the number of cases in the country rose to 893.

About 68 percent of South Korea’s cases have been linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Of 60 new cases reported on Tuesday, 16 were in the southeastern city of Daegu, where the church is located.

Last week the government decided to designate Daegu and neighboring Cheongdo County as “special care zones”.

Moon on Tuesday sought to reassure residents that the government was not considering locking down the area. (South Korea’s Presidential Office via Reuters Connect)

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

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