THE national government has extended the ban on travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates and Oman for another two weeks until July 31, 2021 as part of measures to prevent the entry of the highly contagious Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2, Malacañang announced Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease recommended the inclusion of Indonesia in the list of countries with restrictions.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to approve the recommendation. Indonesia is seeing record high increases in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases and deaths.
Health authorities have detected 19 cases of the Delta variant in the country. All were returning overseas Filipinos who underwent the mandatory 10-day facility-based quarantine and additional four days of home quarantine.
Earlier, the IATF authorized the conduct of special commercial flights to bring home stranded Filipinos in Oman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
A special working group (SWG) was created to determine the implementing protocols for the special commercial flights, in coordination with the concerned airlines.
The special commercial flights, which must have prior approval from the SWG should be exclusive for Filipinos.
The IATF also said the guidelines for the implementation of exemptions for the Philippine government and non-Philippine government repatriation shall be followed.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is the most concerning variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 because of its higher transmissibility and capability to avoid antibodies. (SunStar Philippines)