Press Release
January 29, 2020

Suspend issuance of all visas from Wuhan, other parts of China: Pangilinan

As the deadly novel coronavirus 2019 (2019- nCoV) spreads rapidly and claims more lives in its wake, Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Wednesday reiterated his call for the government to suspend all visa issuances to visitors from Wuhan and other areas in China where the disease has spread.

"Visa upon arrival lang ang suspended para sa mga Chinese. Yung tours, delegates, at businessmen, tulad nung cruise ships sa Subic, tuloy-tuloy pa. Dapat lahat," said Pangilinan.

He pointed out the unequal treatment for Filipino and Chinese travelers, noting that the Department of Health said it would quarantine Filipinos returning from China.

"But what is the rule for the thousands of Chinese arrivals? Bakit mga turistang Chinese galing China sakay ng cruise ship as per Bureau of Quarantine at Coast Guard, walang quarantine? Dahil ba may pampadulas ang mga bisita kaya labas-pasok sila?" Pangilinan asked.

"Bakit kanya-kanyang diskarte ang mga ahensya na salungat sa isa't-isa? Who is in charge? Meron ba? DoH at Malacañang, kumilos kayo agad at huwag papasukin ang mga turista galing ng China habang nariyan ang outbreak," he said.

He pointed out that as of yesterday, 28 January 2020, even Chinese authorities have suspended air and rail travel in the area around Wuhan and have since expanded the travel ban to 16 surrounding cities with a combined population of more than 50 million people.

And aside from China, Malaysia has suspended the issuance of visas for Chinese citizens from Wuhan and the areas around Hubei province to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV).

The US State Department, for its part, has issued a travel advisory to "reconsider travel to China due to novel coronavirus," while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued warnings Level 3 (avoid all nonessential travel to China) and Level 4 (do not travel to Hubei province, China).

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