The Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC) announced on Sunday (Aug. 18) that all carry-on bags from the Philippines will be examined by X-Ray machines at the airport and other ports of entry after midnight.
Based on reliable sources, ASF cases have been detected in Bulacan and Rizal Province of the Philippines, even though the authorities have not reported the cases to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the center said.
The Philippines thus became the latest country to be listed as a high-risk area for ASF by the Taiwanese authorities, following China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, North and South Korea, and Russia.
The measure is taken to prevent the ASF virus from entering the country, according to the center. ASF is a highly contagious disease infecting pigs, with a mortality rate near 100 percent. The disease, however, does not affect human beings.
The ASF disease continues to rage in Southeast Asia and East Asia one year after an outbreak occurred in China. The first ASF case was reported in Myanmar on Wednesday (Aug. 14) at a pig farm near the border with China and Laos. Reuters reported on Friday (Aug. 16) that the disease continues to spread across China, with the quantity of swine dropping more than 30 percent in July compared to the same period in 2018.
Travelers carrying pork product from ASF-affected countries to Taiwan without reporting to the authorities will face a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,300) for the first occurrence, and NT$1 million (US$31,600) starting from the second time.
They may also face a fine of between NT$10,000 (US$316) to NT$30,000 (US$950) for bringing pork products from non-ASF-affected countries.