Locsin says he won’t support travel ban on Singapore amid COVID-19 scare

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he would oppose a travel ban on Singapore, noting a prohibition should not be hinged on a country’s recorded number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections.

“I will not support a travel ban to & from ASEAN Singapore. A ban should hinge NOT on the incidence & (number) of infections/fatalities but on the demonstrated capability of the state concerned to contain the disease & strictly regulate ingress and egress from its air/seaports,” Locsin said in a tweet on Friday.

On February 2, the Philippine government banned all travel to and from China, its two special administrative regions—Hong Kong and Macau—in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Department of Health (DOH) then said the travel ban covered Taiwan, citing the One China policy.

Taiwan, however, claims sovereignty from China, where the majority of the COVID-19-infected cases and deaths are recorded.

“We must look at the sturdiness or flaccidity of a country’s demonstrated health and disease containment capability before so much as thinking of any action regarding access to and from it,” Locsin said in a separate tweet.

It could be noted that earlier this week, House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. raised why Taiwan is covered by the ban and Singapore was not when there are more confirmed cases of COVID-19 there.

Edited by MUF