Philippines extends travel ban on India, 9 other countries as Delta variant spreads

MANILA, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines has extended its travel ban for all inbound travelers from India and nine other countries to Aug. 31 as Delta variant cases rise across the country, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday.

A woman wearing a protective suit walks with a cart at the arrival area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the Philippines, March 17, 2021. (Photo: CFP)

The Delta variant has spread in the Philippines, where 627 cases have been reported, including 11 deaths.

Aside from India where the Delta variant was first detected, the Philippines also banned travelers from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, where the variant has spread.

However, the country allows returning overseas Filipino workers under its repatriation program, but they will be isolated for 14 days upon the arrival.

The Philippines is grappling with soaring COVID-19 infections fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant, prompting the government to reimpose a hard lockdown in Metro Manila and other regions.

The Philippines now has more than 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 29,539 deaths.