SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said the Philippine government is committed to help China and other affected countries address the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease situation.
The senator also appealed to the public to stay calm, level-headed, and compassionate, assuring them that there have already been global efforts to stop the 2019-nCoV epidemic.
“I wish to emphasize that we are not singling out Chinese nationals. This order covers all travelers from China to the Philippines, regardless of nationality. We empathize with China given what they are going through but we are doing this to protect the country and its people,” Go said.
Go earlier recommended to the President to implement a temporary travel ban on travelers coming from any part of China and its Special Administrative Regions, on top of the existing temporary travel ban imposed on those coming from Hubei province and other affected areas.
This is in line with the recommendations of the Department of Health (DOH) as affirmed by members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“Taking into consideration the concerns raised by key government officials and health experts, the President made an informed decision and has agreed to adopt this recommendation and implement it immediately as additional precautionary measure to protect Filipinos and everyone in the Philippines,” he added.
The senator urge the public to be informed and listen to our officials and health experts.
“Do not panic. Magtulungan tayo. Unahin natin ang kapakanan, interes, at kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino.”
“As the issue of a viral outbreak affects everyone, let us not engage in discriminatory behavior, nor act with any bias towards our fellowmen. The reality is everyone is susceptible to the virus.”
“We should not let fear turn us against one another, especially if these fears are unfounded. We must not stigmatize people, especially when they are at their most vulnerable, but empathize with them instead,” he added.
Discrimination against Chinese tourists has been reported in several countries, amid public fears of acquiring the deadly infectious disease.
The new strain of the virus, which originated in Wuhan City, China, has spread to over a dozen countries, many of which are Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.
Go assured that the Duterte government is already coordinating with other countries and their government health agencies, as well as with international health organizations to contain the 2019-nCoV.
“Preventing the outbreak of the 2019-nCoV is not something we can do alone. Solidarity, empathy, and cooperation are what we need to successfully take actions that will overcome this health concern,” Go added.