Friday, July 30, 2021

Travel ban on India, 9 other nations extended to Aug. 15

THE PHILIPPINES  has extended the travel ban on travelers from India and nine other countries until August 15 to prevent the further spread of the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), MalacaƱang announced on Friday. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), decided to continue prohibiting the entry of travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force to extend the travel restrictions currently imposed (on) 10 countries starting August 1 until August 15, 2021,” Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a press statement.

The decision came amid the upward trend in Delta variant cases in the country.

As of July 29, an additional 97 Delta variant cases were reported in the Philippines, bringing the country’s total case count of the more infectious coronavirus to 216.

About 88 of the 97 new Delta variant cases are local cases, six are returning overseas Filipinos, and three others are still being verified.

Of the 97 new cases, 94 have been tagged as recovered and three were fatalities.

The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is driving new outbreaks across the Asia-Pacific region, including Southeast Asia.

It is found to be 60 percent more infectious than the Alpha variant.

Medical experts have noted that a person who catches the Delta variant can infect five to eight people.

In a pre-recorded Talk to the People aired on Monday, Duterte emphasized the need to “double-time” the vaccination of more Filipinos amid the presence of the Delta variant, which he said is “causing so much scary stories” because it is “more aggressive” than the original variant. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)

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