Hard, long quarantine vowed for travelers from India
President Duterte chats with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana following a meeting with IATF core members at Malacañang the other day.

Hard, long quarantine vowed for travelers from India

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will require a “hard, long and strict” quarantine for travelers who will arrive in the country from India once the travel restriction is lifted to prevent the spread of a worrying COVID-19 variant, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said yesterday.

Locsin’s warning came after he commended the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi for creating a chat group to communicate with Filipinos in India and provide assistance to its nationals.

“Great job. I must warn you, even if flights are resumed, the quarantine requirements for them will be especially hard, long and strict. We can’t afford to get the variant,” Locsin said in a message on Twitter.

Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon Batagsing Jr. said 73 Filipinos contracted the virus while two have died of the disease.

India has been grappling with a second wave of infections blamed on a new “double mutant” variant of the coronavirus, adding millions in new cases.

The variant, named B.1.617 and first discovered in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra in December last year, is the focus of global attention because of its possible role in triggering India’s second wave of infections.

The South Asian country is currently battling a record-breaking rise in COVID-19 infections that has overwhelmed hospitals and led to severe bed and oxygen shortages.

The World Health Organization said the Indian strain has been detected in at least 17 countries.

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