As of March 12, 2020, Department of Health Philippines has reported a total to 49 cases in the Philippines.
DOH Philippines has also reported another death due to the virus bringing the total to 2.
So, you’ve already booked your vacation to the Philippines. But with the growing threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid 19) globally, you might be asking: Is it safe to travel to the Philippines this 2020?
If it were up to us, we would advise you to cancel your travel plans until the world’s got a clear and sure cure for the virus. Yes, it will add to the growing loss of the Philippine tourism industry, which, to date, is estimated at about P10 billion due to 50% of cancellations in popular vacation spots such as Boracay and Palawan.
Then again, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
However, if you insist on travelling because you need to, we urge you to read further. At this point, all we can do is take proper precautions when we travel.
Coronavirus Signs and Symptoms
In order to take proper travel precautions, we must be aware of the main symptoms to look out for. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the main clinical signs and symptoms for coronavirus include:
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing Difficulties
More info here.
General Precautions for International travellers
Before travelling, all individuals are encouraged to seek medical consultations in order to evaluate travel-related risks. The goal is to fully understand how to best protect yourself as well as to minimize the risks of getting the disease.
Ultimately, it is your personal responsibility as a traveller to take general precautions, which should cover the following:
1. Assess health risks of chosen destination
When considering your destination, you need to assess key elements such as availability of medical services and any associated public health risks.
In the case of the Philippines, you can check the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs’ website for public advisories on novel coronavirus.
2. Bring your own medical and toiletry kit
If you’re going to travel abroad particularly in high-risk countries, you cannot do without a personal medical kit. You’ll need first-aid items such as nasal decongestant, antihistamine tablets, oral rehydration salts, clinical thermometer and more.
For a full list of medical and toiletry items to bring, check out WHO’s recommendations.
3. Medical advice for individuals with special needs and pre-existing conditions
Pregnant women, young children and the elderly face higher risks when they travel. Those with pre-existing conditionals also need extra caution. In these cases, you need to seek a health advice recommendation from a specialist before pushing through with your trip.
4. Secure a travel insurance
It is important to note that high quality medical care in some countries can be costly and may only be available at private facilities. Which is why you need a comprehensive travel health insurance before you fly.
Inquire with your travel agent to secure the right travel insurance for your needs.
5. Get medically examined after your travel
In the event of experiencing the aforementioned coronavirus symptoms after your travel, you are advised to seek a medical examination immediately.
Philippines Issues Temporary Travel Ban
For the last two weeks, the Philippines issued travel bans on travelers of any nationality that are comping directly from China, Hong Kong and Macau. And just recently, President Rodrigo Duterte expanded the list, adding Taiwan on a temporary travel ban.
If you’re not travelling from any of the aforementioned countries, you should’t have any problems travelling to the Philippines.
As of February 10, 2020, the Philippines has 3 confirmed cases of coronavirus, one of which resulted in death. And there are 382 persons under investigation (PUIs) so far. Click here for a more updated data on the nCov cases in the Philippines,
So, is it safe to travel to the Philippines?
So, going back to the question, is it safe to travel to the Philippines?
At this point, we can only provide you with the data and no specific travel advisory. If you do need to travel, we urge you to take the general precautionary measures to lower your health risks.