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Travelers from 4 more countries barred entry due to COVID variant threat
This Dec. 24, 2020 photo shows passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The STAR/KJ Rosales, file

Travelers from 4 more countries barred entry due to COVID variant threat

(Philstar.com) - May 5, 2021 - 7:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Wednesday said the entry of travelers from four South Asian countries will be restricted starting May 7 over the threat posed by the COVID-19 variant first detected in India. 

A memorandum by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the ban covers those who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka in the last two weeks. 

It will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, until May 14. Passengers arriving before then will still be allowed entry, but will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine even if they have a negative RT-PCR test result.

The Philippines earlier implemented travel restrictions on arrivals from India for two weeks as that country struggles with a significant increase in infections and deaths.

Medialdea's memo added that Filipinos and foreigners who transited through the said countries will not be considered as having traveled there if they were only in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry.

Government said that specimens from travelers from India and four other countries that test positive for COVID-19 will go through whole genome sequencing. 

"All close contacts must undergo facilitiy-based quarantine for fourteen days, and contact tracing shall expand up to the third generation contacts," it said.

Earlier today, the Department of Health said the variant first seen in India or the B.1.617 has not been detected in the country. Six travelers from there, however, had tested positive for COVID-19 even before the ban was ordered.

More cases from other variants found in the United Kingdom, South Africa and the homegrown P.3, meanwhile, were reported on Wednesday.

BANGLADESH COVID-19 VARIANT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH INDIA NEPAL PAKISTAN SRI LANKA
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