MANILA, Philippines – “Gobyerno talaga ang papatay sa atin.” (It’s the government that will kill us.)
On Thursday, January 30, Filipinos expressed their dismay over the Philippine government’s refusal to ban travels to and from mainland China. This, after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the Philippines’ first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
During the House of Representatives’ question hour on Wednesday, January 29, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III explained that the government is not yet considering imposing a travel ban on tourists coming from mainland China because “confirmed cases are not limited to China.”
“If we do this, then the concerned country – China in this case – might question why we’re not doing the same for all other countries that have reported cases of the new coronavirus. It’s very tricky… but we commit to take this into consideration,” Duque said.
Netizens slammed the decision, saying that the government’s actions – or the lack of it – would kill Filipinos faster than the virus could.