PPA bans ships from Gyeongbuk province in South Korea
All arriving vessels that have made port calls in Gyeongbuk province and its former capital, Daegu City, in South Korea in the last 14 days are now prohibited from docking on any Philippine port indefinitely.
So read Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) Memorandum No. 2020-006, which extends travel restrictions to North Gyeongsang (Gyeongbuk) province, in a bid to insulate the country from the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The original memorandum circular imposed travel restrictions on China’s special administrative regions Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan, although the latter was rescinded after protests from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
The PPA memo also bans from disembarking on Philippine ports the affected vessels’ crew and passengers, although the ships are allowed to discharge or unload their cargo after quarantine and boarding formalities.
Eighty-three percent of the country’s commercial cargo vessels come from the Asian region, particularly Hong Kong and mainland China, PPA general manager Jay Santiago earlier said.
The PPA memorandum circular follows current government efforts to restrict travel to and from North Gyeongsang, where most of the cases of COVID-19 infections in South Korea are concentrated.
South Korea on Thursday reported 760 new COVID-19 cases, bringing to 6,088 the total number of cases in the country, the highest outside of China. Its health authorities also reported 40 deaths so far.
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