News Release

DOH: No need for border control, mandatory facemask amid new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa does not see the need to implement border control and mandatory wearing of facemasks amid the reported cases of new COVID-19.

In a press briefing, Herbosa told reporters the FLiRT COVID-19 variant monitored in Singapore is mostly respiratory tract infection, which means patients are suffering from cough and common colds.

“So, I’m not thinking border control, mandatory mask – I’m not thinking that,” Herbosa told the Malacañang Press Corps when asked to comment on the supposed increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Herbosa added the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) is closely monitoring the health condition of foreigners entering the country through the health declaration they fill out upon entry.

“The caution is precaution mo. You must be vaccinated at least, or if you are at risk probably, I’d advise don’t travel there muna while they are having increasing number of new cases. Pero if you are healthy, maybe a regular mask that you bring along to protect you will be good advice,” he said.

Herbosa however urged the public to observe minimum public health standards, or stay home when sick.

He said it would be a personal discussion between the physician and COVID-19 patient if additional vaccines are needed. Vaccines have waning effect of immunity, he added.

Herbosa said the ones needing vaccination are the high-risk people. “Remember, we have 78 million people that were vaccinated with boosters,” he said.

“So, I think they still have some level of immunity. So, no requirement for border control, no requirement for mandatory mask, no requirement for additional vaccination, but we are monitoring the cases,” he added.

Herbosa said the public should just continue observing minimum health precautions including cough etiquette, avoiding overcrowded places and observe proper ventilation. PND