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Philippines to impose travel ban on Malaysia, Thailand to prevent Delta variant

MANILA: The Philippines will ban travelers from Malaysia and Thailand from July 25 to July 31 to prevent the spread of the highly contagious variant of the Delta coronavirus, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Friday.

Roque said that travelers arriving directly from the two Southeast Asian countries or who have previously traveled to either of the two countries in the past 14 days will be barred from entry.

“These actions are being taken to prevent the further spread and transmission of Covid-19 variants in the Philippines to the public,” Roque said in a statement.

Malaysia and Thailand are experiencing a surge believed to be caused by cases of the Delta variant.

Roque said Filipino workers returning overseas under the government’s repatriation program are exempt from the ban but will be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.

The inclusion of Malaysia and Thailand results in the 10th list of countries banned by the Philippines.

Travelers from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are not allowed to enter the country until July 31st.

So far, the Philippines has identified 47 Delta cases in the country. The Ministry of Health has confirmed local transmission of the Delta variant, first discovered in India.

In addition to the Delta variant, the Philippines has also discovered three other worrying variants of the coronavirus.

The Philippines reported a total of 1,530,266 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Friday, including 26,891 deaths. –Burnama

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