MANILA, May 23 (Mabuhay) — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday said there is no need yet to close down the borders of the country amid the threat of the monkeypox virus.

“‘Yung pagsasara ng borders or stricter border control, hindi pa yan dapat gawin sa ngayon, ano?” Duque said.

“Unang-una, ito yung ating measures para sa COVID, ‘yung stricter surveillance, yung more stringent symptom screening,” he added.

Duque said he is in constant coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Further, he said he has also ordered the Bureau of Quarantine to monitor incoming passengers from countries that have detected monkeypox.

These include Canada, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Europe, and North America. The Philippines has yet to detect the monkeypox virus.

Duque also said that monkeypox’s rate of transmission is not similar to COVID.

“Kasi ito ang mode of transmission nito, direct physical contact. So tao sa tao, skin to skin. Pagka halimbawa, meron source yung bodily fluids, may exchange of bodily fluids… puwede din daw may sexual transmission,” he said.

“’Yan yung nana, yung dugo, kailangan magkalipatan,” he added.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. The virus is less contagious and causes less severe illness compared to smallpox.

Duque previously said WHO has not yet classified monkeypox as a threat to public health. (MNS)

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