Travel ban on Taiwan stays for now: Palace

The temporary travel ban on all foreign travelers from Taiwan stays, for now, MalacaAang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this statement after the Taiwanese government called for the lifting of the temporary travel ban imposed by the Philippines to help contain the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Reports showed that some Taiwanese nationals were stranded at airports in the Philippines after the ban was announced earlier this week.

On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified that Taiwan has been included in the travel ban earlier called by President Rodrigo Duterte on mainland China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macao.

Many countries and international organizations regard Taiwan as part of China under Beijing's One China policy.

Taiwan is part of China and since there's a ban of China, necessarily Taiwan being part of China is included, Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo explained that all travel ban imposed on China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan was upon the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He assured that once the WHO would recommend a lifting of the travel ban, the Philippine government would act on its recommendation.

We always follow the recommendation of the World Health Organization so if the World Health Organization says there is a need for the lifting of the ban in any part of those already announced to have travel ban then we will I suppose do so, Panelo said.

Panelo said the travel ban serves as a precautionary measure against the spread of the deadly virus, which originated from Wuhan City in China.

[It's] always for the safety of our countrymen, Panelo said.

Filipinos and foreigners with permanent resident visas may be allowed entry but will be turned over to the Bureau of Quarantine for assessment, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

There are approximately 120,000 documented and 20,000 undocumented Filipino workers in Taiwan, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.

Taiwan currently has 18 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus that has spread to 24 more countries outside China, including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, France, Spain, India, and the Philippines.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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