Filtered By: Topstories

No need to restrict travel to Philippines despite reported monkeypox cases –infectious disease expert

Informing travelers going to the Philippines that they could be infected with monkeypox here is more important than restricting them from entering the country, an infectious disease expert said on Sunday.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, Dr. Rontgene Solante was asked if he thinks that the Philippines’ borders should be tightened against Filipinos and foreign travelers coming from countries with confirmed monkeypox cases.

This came after the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday confirmed two more cases of monkeypox in the Philippines, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to three.

These new cases were detected in two individuals who had recently traveled to countries with monkeypox infections.

In response, Solante underscored the importance of having travelers declare their health information, such as if they had a close intimate contact in countries where there is monkeypox, when they arrive in the Philippines.

“Ang tingin ko rito, hindi natin kailangan ng paghigpit. Ibig sabihin, hindi natin kailangan bawalan. Ang importante lang dito, ‘yung correct information, especially sa mga travelers na when they will be arriving, they can be infected also,” he said.

(I think we don't need restrictions. We don't need to ban them. The only important thing here is giving travelers correct information that when they will be arriving, they can be infected as well.)

“Importante doon sa mga dumating, they need to report also kung meron silang mga symptoms, kung possible with monkeypox, they need to go to the doctor,” he added.

(It is important for those who arrive here to report also if they have possible monkeypox symptoms to doctors.)

Solante also called on the public to always wash their hands, considering that the health protocols against COVID-19 could also be used against monkeypox.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday also said that there is no need to close the country’s borders despite the reported monkeypox cases. She said what should be done is to further intensify the country’s surveillance system, and to inform the Filipinos on what to do and what to avoid. —KG, GMA News