After the Philippines recorded its first cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant from India, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has confirmed that the Department of Health (DOH) has recommended the inclusion of two more countries in the list with travel restrictions.
“Kung mapirmahan mamaya (If signed tonight), we’ll give another day para sa nakabiyahe na (for those who have traveled already), we’ll give them chance,” Duque said after the symbolic vaccination using Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in Makati City on Thursday, May 13.
Duque was referring to travelers coming from Oman and United Arab Emirates which he recommended to be included in the list of countries with travel restrictions. “I-quarantine natin sinuman ang dumarating for strict border control (We will also quarantine those who are arriving to ensure strict border control),” he added.
The DOH Chief said that the recommendation has already been sent to the Office of the Executive Secretary. If approved, he noted that the ban for incoming travelers from these Middle East countries will last for two weeks.
Duque’s recommendation to include Oman and UAE came two days after the country recorded two cases of the B.1.617.2 variant on two Filipino seafarers who arrived from the same countries. DOH said both did not have travel history to India.
The Philippines has imposed a ban on travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka which will end on Friday, May 14.