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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he was not keen on expanding the coverage of his travel ban to South Korea.

Duterte issued this remark after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases approved to impose a ban on travelers coming from North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea due to the novel coronavirus.

“No. I cannot do that. No country can do that. If it — if the guy is healthy, why would you…? You cannot do that. There cannot be a total travel ban and you do not allow anybody to enter the… You are going to lockdown the entire Philippines for that,” he explained.

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the President in January banned tourists from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taipei. But last week, the government partially lifted travel restrictions in the aforementioned areas after sufficient health protocols were put in place.

“It’s — it ain’t that way. And for those who are healthy, they should come in. And for those who have been identified from other countries, then that is the time that we can raise the objection of his entry,” Duterte said.

South Korea now has more than 1,260 cases, including a US soldier, Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

More than 80,000 people worldwide have been infected with the virus, which has killed more than 2,760.

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