From Monday, July 20, passengers arriving at Francisco Bangoy International Airport (DVO), which serves Davao City, are required to submit a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, taken within 48 hours of their departure. Those arriving at DVO without the required test will not be permitted to leave the airport until testing has been arranged. The measure was introduced by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Philippine authorities introduced a two-week lockdown in Navotas on Thursday, July 16, due to a rise of COVID-19 cases in the city. The lockdown began at 05:00 (local time) on Thursday and will remain in place until 23:53 on July 29. The decision came after a total of 1061 COVID-19 cases, of which 661 are active, were identified in the city as of Tuesday, July 14.
President Rodrigo Duterte also extended the ongoing lockdown in Cebu City until July 31; however, some restrictions were relaxed. The city went into modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) as of July 16, which is less strict than the previously enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Under the MECQ, residents are allowed to go out for exercise as long as they wear masks and maintain social distancing; however, stay-at-home orders remain in place.
Across the country public transport, restaurants, and shopping malls have been permitted to reopen at limited capacities. Individuals are required to wear face masks and observe social distancing while using public transport nationwide. Partial restrictions remain in place in some areas; Duterte announced on July 1 that the general community quarantine (GCQ) has been extended by one month in Metro Manilla due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, joining a number of areas in Luzon and Visayas which remain under the GCQ.
Non-essential travel abroad resumed on July 7, following certain conditions imposed to ensure traveler's safety, including undergoing COVID-19 testing and mandatory quarantine on return to the country. Travelers are also required to submit confirmation of tickets, visas, and health insurance prior to travel, as well as signing a declaration form.
As of July 18, there have been 63,001 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 1660 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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