Health advocate blasts gov’t for ‘sloppy’ travel ban declaration

Published July 24, 2021, 2:44 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

A public health advocate has scored the government for being “sloppy” in imposing travel bans on countries where the dreaded Delta variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been detected.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Dr. Anthony Leachon lamented the “acute” surge in infections seen in Metro Manila, saying that this may need another round of lockdown.

“We don’t want [a lockdown] – thus we need to test, to trace, and isolate. But I guess it’s too late now,” Leachon said in a Twitter post on Saturday, July 24.

“The government was sloppy in our travel ban declaration. Non-disclosure of Delta variants in past three months is costly,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the detection of local transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus variant last week.

On Saturday, the Health department reported 17 additional cases of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant, bringing the total number of cases to 64.

The Philippine government imposed travel restrictions for all travelers coming from Malaysia and Thailand from July 25 to 31 to prevent the further spread of variants in the country.

Malaysia and Thailand joined eight other countries in the Philippines’ travel ban list, namely: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia.

Leachon has been calling to impose travel bans on Malaysia and Indonesia since last week due to surge in cases in the these countries.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that the country’s positivity rate remains high at 12 percent.

According to him, this is because the government is “not testing enough.”

“We have seen the Delta devastation in India and Indonesia,” he said. “We can’t handle a third surge, Our healthcare system will collapse.”

 
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