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Philippines suspends travel to South Korea due to COVID-19

The Philippine government has banned travel to all parts of South Korea due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said on Wednesday.

"Any travel to South Korea will be temporarily suspended," Duque said in a press conference.

“Only permanent residents of South Korea, Filipinos leaving for study and OFWs returning for work will be allowed provided they signed a written declaration acknowledging the risks involved which will be complemented with health advisory pamphlets,” he added.

Echoing an earlier announcement by Malacañang, Duque said the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 has resolved "to impose travel restrictions to passengers coming from North Heongsan province, South Korea including of course Daegu City and Teongdo County effective immediately."

"Filipinos and the foreign spouses or children and holders of permanent and diplomatic visas will be allowed entry subject to existing screening and quarantine protocols," Duque said.

"The travel restriction will be reviewed and be evaluated in the next 48 hours based on new developments," he added. 

As of Wednesday, there were 1,146 cases of COVID-19 in South Korea, the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC) said.

Of this number, 134 were from Daegu City in North Gyeongsang.

The Philippine Department of Health on Monday said there is no confirmed case of Filipinos infected by COVID-19 in South Korea.

On Sunday, South Korea raised its alert on COVID-19 to the highest level due to the rapid surge in number of cases.  —NB, GMA News