The Philippines on Friday extended the travel ban till August 15 for those arriving from India and nine other countries to check the spread of the delta COVID-19 variant amid a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to extend the travel restrictions currently imposed in 10 countries from August 1 to August 15, 2021, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a Facebook post. Said.
He said that these countries include India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The Philippines initially imposed a travel ban on India on 29 April which was extended. On 14 July, the government extended the travel ban, which covers India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UAE and Oman, until 31 July.
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According to a report in Manila Times, the extended travel ban came after President Duterte expressed concern over the infectious Delta variant, which was first detected in India.
The country has so far reported 216 cases of the delta variant, but health experts say there could be more undetected cases due to the slow pace of the country’s genome sequencing capacity. Duterte on Wednesday advised those not vaccinated to stay at home.
“I’m telling you, don’t leave your homes. If you go out, I’ll tell the police to take you back to your home because you’re about to walk,” Duterte was quoted as saying in the report.
The president said the country cannot afford to go “back to square one” if the Delta COVID-19 version continues to rise. The Philippines Star reported that coronavirus cases in the Philippines reached a two-month high on Friday with 8,562 new coronavirus infections, taking the national tally to 1,580,824. The death toll from the deadly virus has reached 27,722.