Taiwan will require all Philippine arrivals to be tested for coronavirus

Starting Sunday all visitors from Philippines arriving in Taiwan must take COVID-19 test

A police officer checks the temperatures of passengers inside a jeepney in Manila, Philippines. 

A police officer checks the temperatures of passengers inside a jeepney in Manila, Philippines.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Due to the sudden influx of imported Wuhan coronavirus cases from the Philippines, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) will require all passengers arriving from the Southeast Asian country to be tested beginning Sunday (July 26).

During a press conference on Friday (July 24), the CECC announced that because the Philippines has become a hotspot for COVID-19 in the Western Pacific Region, it will require all visitors from the country to undergo testing from Sunday. Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that of the 11 imported coronavirus cases reported in July, six were from the Philippines, while another four cases had transferred through Taiwan from the Philippines on their way to Hong Kong, showing the risk of infection in the country is high.

Chen then announced that starting Sunday visitors from the Philippines must abide by the following testing and quarantine measures:

  1. Taiwanese, foreigners with an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), migrant workers, foreign students, and diplomats must all undergo testing for the coronavirus upon arrival at the airport, whether or not they are presenting symptoms of the virus. Those with symptoms must go to a quarantine center to await results of the test. Those without symptoms, must go directly to their homes or check into a quarantine hotel to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
  2. Foreign nationals who do not hold a residence permit in Taiwan are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result issued within three days prior to boarding the flight to Taiwan. Upon arrival in Taiwan, they must immediately begin home quarantine for 14 days.

According to the CECC, there has been an average of 1,600 new confirmed coronavirus per day in the Philippines over the past two weeks. This accounts for 56 percent of all new cases in the Western Pacific Region.

The ratio of confirmed cases is 203.5 per million over the past two weeks. The Philippines now has a total of 74,390 confirmed cases of COVID-19, second only to China in the Western Pacific Region.