The Philippine government has extended travel bans from seven countries, including Pakistan, to June 15 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – B.1617.
According to CNN, the Philippine government announced on Monday that it would extend the ban for travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to expand restrictions on passengers from seven countries on the recommendation of the national task force against COVID-19, said spokesman for President Harry Roque.
In a series of reports from late April to mid-May, the country banned passengers from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates until May 31. This is to prevent the spread of the mutant variant corona virus B.1617 which was first discovered in India.
Despite this policy, on 11 May, the Philippines confirmed their first two cases with Option B.1617 – both of which returned to Filipinos who had never traveled from India in the past. Since then, the country has found a total of 13 people infected with the same variant.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are currently at least 1,071 Option B.1.1.7 cases from the UK and 1,246 Option B.1.351 cases from South Africa. It is believed that they contributed to an increase in infections in some areas.