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‘Di agad sinabing may outbreak! Bong Go blames WHO for late travel ban order

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Senator Bong Go blamed the World Health Organization (WHO) Tuesday (February 4) for President Rodrigo Duterte’s belated order to temporarily ban travelers from mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong due to the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Go, chairman of the Senate health committee, appeared to take a swipe at critics slamming Duterte’s belated announcement of a travel ban during the hearing on the 2019-nCoV.

“We cannot please everybody. The WHO did not declare an outbreak immediately and did not even recommend a travel ban,” he said.

Duterte extended the travel ban to cover travelers from mainland China and its two special administrative regions on February 2. His decision came after the Department of Health confirmed that a woman who visited the Philippines from Wuhan City, China, the epicenter of the epidemic, has been infected with the virus.

The President previously limited the travel ban to those coming from Hubei province, where Wuhan City is located. Several politikos had appealed to Duterte to extend the ban’s coverage.

Despite criticism over Duterte’s alleged lax response, Go maintained that the President did not drag his feet in making decisions.

“Despite criticisms, the President believes that this govt acted swiftly and has made timely and informed decisions to protect our country,” the senator said.

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