MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The government should not close borders in response to the spread of monkeypox abroad, according to Dr. Ted Herbosa, the healthcare consultant to the National Action Plan Against COVID-19, who explained that the disease is not as infectious as COVID-19 and that closing borders would have a significant economic impact.

Several incidences of monkeypox, an African disease, were identified in North America and Europe in early May. On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that 80 cases had been confirmed in 11 countries, with another 50 cases suspected.

In an interview with Laging Handa on Saturday, Herbosa remarked in Filipino, “As an adviser [to the NTF against COVID-19], I will not suggest closing our borders only because there are recorded cases.”

He noted that monkeypox, a virus spread by animals to people, is not as contagious as COVID-19, which is spread through the air. Monkeypox may be transferred to people by direct contact with the wounds, bodily fluids, or respiratory droplets of an infected person or animal, as well as contaminated items, according to local health officials.

Herbosa further stated that he is opposed to closing the borders immediately since it will have a significant impact on the Philippine economy, tourism, and the supply chain of products and services.

Despite the fact that no cases of monkeypox have been identified in the Philippines, the Health Department announced on Friday that it is stepping up border screening and closely monitoring the situation.

To minimize the spread of monkeypox, the agency also advised everyone to follow minimal public health standards. The general populace is recommended to:

Put on their finest mask.

Make sure there’s enough ventilation.

Hands must be kept clean.

Distancing yourself from others is a good thing to do.

Fever, rashes, and enlarged lymph nodes are all symptoms of monkeypox.

Monkeypox is similar to smallpox, but it is less infectious and produces fewer severe symptoms, according to the Department of Health.

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