Cebu Governor wants 14-day quarantine of tourists coming from China

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Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia says she plans to place visitors arriving in the province from China on a 14-day quarantine amid the confirmed entry of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 30) — Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia said she plans to place visitors arriving in the province from China on a 14-day quarantine amid the confirmed entry of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.

Garcia said she will formalize the new policy through an Executive Order in a few days. She said they have already identified two properties which can accommodate 200 people for the quarantine and they will be available in two to three days.

The Department of Health confirmed that a 38-year-old female Chinese national tested positive for 2019-nCoV. The patient had a travel history to Wuhan, China — where the virus outbreak originated — before arriving in the Philippines on January 21. The patient also previously travelled to Cebu and Dumaguete provinces, the DOH said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said he will suggest a temporary ban on travelers from the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.

Garcia said she will not issue a ban against Chinese nationals in the province.

Earlier, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella along with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said they have already called for immigration and health officials to restrict flights coming from China.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday enforcing such a restriction will not be easy, since China continues to "respect the freedom flights that we enjoy."

Cebu City declared a state of preparedness on Wednesday, triggering the implementation of preventive measures.