Coronavirus threat: Immigration stops visa on arrival issuance to Chinese tourists

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The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration will temporarily suspend the issuance of visa upon arrival or VUA to Chinese nationals to ensure the country would not be infected by the 2019 novel , Tuesday.

Coronavirus threat: Immigration stops visa on arrival issuance to Chinese tourists
Coronavirus threat: Immigration stops visa on arrival issuance to Chinese tourists. (Image from Manila Bulletin News)

“We are taking this proactive measure to slow down travel, and possibly help prevent the entry of the 2019-nCov,” Jaime Morente, the Bureau of Immigration Commissioner said in a statement.

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The new strain of coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan City in December last year. It has now killed more than 100 people and infected more than 4,000 people in China alone.

The 2019-nCov has spread to Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Nepal. It has also reached the United States, France, and the most recent one, in Germany,

Related: Germany confirms first case of coronavirus

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Coronavirus threat: Immigration stops visa on arrival issuance to Chinese tourists

Morente said Chinese tourists would usually apply for visas on arrival.

The commissionaire, however, clarified that there was no on the entry of Chinese nationals in the Philippines.

“We have not received any directive imposing policy changes on Chinese nationals,” he said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured the public that there are no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines yet.

However, the Department of Health earlier said there were investigating 11 persons for possible 2019-nCoV infection.

The 11 patients are from the different parts of the country, namely Metro Manila, Mimaropa, Northern Mindanao, and Western, Eastern, and Central Visayas.

San Lazaro Hospital in Manila said Monday they were observing a Chinese couple from Wuhan, China, who showed symptoms related to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Hospital spokesman Dr. Ferdinand De Guzman said the couple—one in the 40s, the other in the 30s in age—were confined on Friday.

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