Filipinos in South Korea are undergoing preventive measures against the novel coronavirus disease due to the country’s high alert level on the outbreak.
Consul General Christian de Jesus announced the news on Tuesday, confirming that no Filipinos have so far contracted the illness. “Patuloy pong dumarating ang applicants. “Tuloy pa rin ang buhay pero mas maingat po ang mga tao ngayon. Palaging naka-mask, naghuhugas ng kamay at umiiwas po sa malalaking grupo,” de Jesus said in an interview with DZMM radio. (Applicants keep coming. Life goes on but people are more careful now. They are always wearing face mask, washing, their hands, and avoiding big crowds.)
He added that there is no panic buying happening in Seoul, and business transaction is as usual as before at the Philippine embassy.
Watch the full interview below:
According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), South Korea has reported 60 new cases of COVID-19 today. In fact, KCDC also said most of their cases are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu City. On February 10, a 61-year-old female member of the church developed a fever. Reports said she still attended at least 4 church services before being officially diagnosed.
Its founder Lee Man-hee claimed he has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on judgment day.
Officials may impose travel ban in South Korea
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the Philippines’ inter-agency body on infectious illness will further discuss prohibiting travel to South Korea.
“Kailangan tignan din natin ano ba ang laki ng impact sa tourism income. sa Department of Finance meron din, tapos sa Department of Transporation. Ating babalansehin pero mananaig pa rin ang ating health criteria,” he added. (We need to look at its impact on our tourism income. Same with the Department of Finance and Department of Finance and Department of Transportation. We will balance it but the health criteria will prevail.)
However, it might affect the country’s tourism industry once the travel ban has been imposed. In a report of Philstar through government data, it says that South Korea the Philippines’ largest tourist source for the past five years. Last year, about 1.9 million Koreans have visited the country.
Furthermore, South Korea has canceled all its events while establishments and churches have already closed following the high alert level status raised by their government.
South Korea has also the largest total cases of the virus outside China with 893 cases which include 8 fatalities. The data was reported by KCDC on Tuesday.
Stay safe, everyone!