Philippines halts visas on arrival for Chinese on coronavirus fears

The Philippines ‘visa upon arrival’ facility has been offered to Chinese nationals since 2017, in an effort to boost tourism. (AFP)
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Updated 28 January 2020

Philippines halts visas on arrival for Chinese on coronavirus fears

  • There have been no confirmed cases in the Philippines since the coronavirus outbreak began in China’s central city of Wuhan
  • Infections have been confirmed in Japan, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam

MANILA: The Philippines stopped issuing visas on arrival to Chinese nationals on Tuesday, in a bid to keep the southeast Asian nation free of a new virus that has killed 106 and infected more than 4,500 since emerging in China in December.
There have been no confirmed cases in the Philippines since the coronavirus outbreak began in China’s central city of Wuhan, but infections have been confirmed in Japan, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
“We are taking this proactive measure to slow down travel, and possibly help prevent the entry of the 2019-nCov,” Jaime Morente, the commissioner of the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration, said in a statement, referring to the virus.
There is no order barring Chinese nationals from entering the Philippines, however, Morente added.
He did not say when the facility would be resumed. Chinese nationals can still apply for visas at any Philippine embassy or consulate at their places of residence.
Health authorities are monitoring more than 11 suspected cases of the new coronavirus, they said on Tuesday.
The “visa upon arrival” facility has been offered to Chinese nationals since 2017, in an effort to boost tourism. Those eligible included investors and businessmen, athletes, delegates to international conventions and tour groups.
Chinese tourists accounted for 22 percent of the 7.5 million visitors to the Philippines between January and November last year, making China the second top nation of origin for international travelers to the country.

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Police say 2 killed, 3 injured in US shooting

Updated 21 February 2020

Police say 2 killed, 3 injured in US shooting

  • It was not immediately clear if the people injured and killed in the shooting lived at the complex
  • The officer’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening

CALDWELL, Idaho: Idaho police say at least two people were killed and three were injured in a shooting at an apartment complex for senior citizens in Caldwell.

Caldwell Police Chief Frank Wyant said the report of an active shooter at the Portstewart Apartments came in about 4:19 p.m. Thursday, and responding officers found multiple victims at the scene. A police officer was among the injured, and the suspect in the case was among the dead.

Police said there was no ongoing threat to the public.

The officer’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. It was not immediately clear if the people injured and killed in the shooting lived at the complex.

“We are still early in the investigation, and information is still very preliminary,” Caldwell Police Department Lt. Joey Hoadley said.
Caldwell is part of the Boise metropolitan area and has a population of about 54,000.