21:43 GMT22 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has requested an entry ban on Chinese nationals from the Hubei province, where the novel coronavirus originates in, his spokesman said on Friday.

    "Upon the recommendation of DOH [Department of Health] Secretary Francisco Duque, the president has issued a travel ban to Chinese nationals coming from the Hubei province of China where the nCoV originated," Salvador Panelo said, as quoted by the ABS-CBN broadcaster.

    The ban, which will last "until the threat is over", may be expanded to other areas with confirmed coronavirus cases, Panelo added. The possible expansion will depend on the announcements of the Chinese government and the World Health Organization.

    Earlier this week, the Philippines suspended tourist visa issuance for Chinese nationals.

    The Philippines announced on Thursday that the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus had been detected in the country.

    The new strain of coronavirus was first detected last December in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province, and has since spread to 19 countries.

    The epidemic has already left 213 people dead and over 9,000 infected in China.

    Rodrigo Duterte, coronavirus, Hubei, travel ban, China, Philippines
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