Covid: The Philippines on Friday extended travel restrictions for ten countries including India till 15 August to check the spread of Delta variant amid a surge in the number of infection cases in the country.
Informing about the decision, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to extend the travel restrictions currently imposed to 10 countries starting August 1 until August 15, 2021.
Among the ten countries are India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The Philippines had first imposed the travel ban on India in April and extended later as the latter faced unprecedented surge in infection cases. On July 14, the government again extended the ban till July 31.
The extended travel ban came after President Duterte expressed concern over the contagious Delta variant, first detected in India, news agency PTI reported citing Manila Times.
The country has, so far, reported 216 cases of the Delta variant, but health experts say there could be more undetected cases because of the slow pace of the country’s genome sequencing capacity.
Earlier this week, Duterte advised those who don’t want to be vaccinated to stay at home. “I am telling you, don’t leave your homes. If you go out, I will tell the police to escort you back to your house because you are a walking spreader,” Duterte was quoted as saying in the report.
The President said the country could not afford to go “back to square one,” in case the Delta variant continues to rise. Covid cases in the Philippines hit a two-month high on Friday with 8,562 new coronavirus infections, pushing the national tally to 1,580,824, the Philippines Star reported.
The death toll from the deadly virus has reached 27,722.
(With inputs from PTI)
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!