Philippines’ Duterte ends overseas travel ban on healthcare workers

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved ending a ban on deploying the nation’s healthcare workers, his labour minister said on Saturday, clearing the way for thousands of nurses to take up jobs overseas.

Bello said the spread of the novel coronavirus was slowing down in the country and conditions were improving, so the government could afford to let its healthcare workers leave.

The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, but daily case numbers and death rates have dropped.

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To ensure the Philippines has enough medical professionals to continue to fight the pandemic at home, only 5,000 healthcare workers will be allowed to leave every year, Bello said.

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