HOUSE Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas has warned that the sudden lifting of inbound travel restrictions on the United Arab Emirates, India, and eight other countries might result to another coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surge as the country struggle with daily high cases of COVID-19.
“European countries reimpose ban on American tourists in response to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the Philippines lifts travel ban on countries with high delta cases such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is risky and plain foolish to lift travel restrictions whilst the Philippines itself is still under restrictive lockdowns,” Brosas said.
“Checkpoints para sa mahihirap, more travel para sa mayayaman. I don’t see how this policy can help with the government’s pandemic response. Talagang pinanindigan na lang ng Duterte administrationa ng palpak na pamamalakad sa kabila ng mataas na kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa,” Brosas added.
The lawmaker said that the government must “focus on mass testing and strengthening the capacity of public hospitals instead of bringing in more risks of COVID-19 surge.”
“While it’s true that imposing a travel ban alone will not stop the rising cases of COVID-19, lifting the restrictions now amid a crumbling healthcare system and limited genomic surveillance is not the smartest thing to do,” she said.
“Sa loob ng isa’t kalahating taon, nakita natin na ang mahihirap ang pumapasan ng mga epekto ng COVID-19 surge sa ating bansa. Kaya hindi matatapos ang krisis kung patuloy ang ganitong klaseng sistema na walang puwang sa nararanasan ng ordinaryong mamamayan,” she ended.