DOH Secretary Teodoro Herbosa with Presidential Communications Group press briefer Daphne Oseña-Paez. (Malacañang photo)

The health department sees no need for border control and the return of the mandatory wearing of facemasks despite recent reports about the new FLiRT COVID-19 variant in Singapore.

Secretary Teodoro Herbosa of the Department of Health (DOH) stated during a press briefing in Malacañang on May 22 that the FLiRT COVID-19 variant detected in the city-state primarily causes respiratory tract infections, resulting in symptoms such as cough and common colds.

He added that the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) is on top of the situation, closely monitoring entry of foreigners from Singapore through health declarations.

“I’m not thinking border control, mandatory mask—I’m not thinking that,” he said.

“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,” Herbosa explained.

While commenting on the fact that 78 million people in the Philippines have had booster vaccines, the chief of health pointed out that the individuals who require immunization are those who are at a high risk.

He also urged the public to continue observing minimum health precautions including cough etiquette, avoiding overcrowded places and observe proper ventilation.