The Department of Health (DOH) clarified on Thursday, May 6, that only five passengers from India have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before the travel ban was imposed.
Based on the data of the Bureau of Quarantine, a total of 149 passengers with travel history from India arrived in the Philippines prior to the travel ban. Of the figure, 129 were returning overseas Filipinos, while the remaining 20 were foreign nationals.
“All of these passengers were quarantined upon arrival and tested on the 6th and 7th day,” the DOH said in a statement.
“Five tested positive for COVID-19 through RT-PCR while 137 of them tested negative. Among those who tested positive, one is still in isolation while the disposition of the four patients are being verified. Samples from these positive cases are currently being determined if they are adequate for sequencing,” it added.
The DOH said that of the five, four are Filipinos while the other one is a foreign national.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that six passengers from India tested positive for the viral illness.
Meanwhile, the DOH said it is still awaiting the test results of the seven other passengers.
“The test results of the seven remaining travelers are currently being verified. The DOH is now closely coordinating with the LGUs (local government units) and Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to get further updates on the current health status of these travelers,” it said.
The Philippine government imposed a temporary travel ban on all travelers from India on April 29 until May 14 amid the concerning spike of COVID-19 cases in the South Asian country as well as to prevent the entry of the coronavirus variant first detected in India or the B.1617 variant.
The country will also ban travelers coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka until May 14.