Filipino travellers from India are also included in the two-week travel ban imposed by the Philippine government due to the alarming situation in the South Asian country.
On Tuesday night Malacañang announced that the travel ban on India will take effect at 12:01 on April 29 until May 14.
DOH: 2-Week Travel Ban on India Also Covers Overseas Filipino Workers
In an online briefing, Health undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the department had decided to temporarily suspend the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for 14 days, UNTV News reported.
With this development, all travellers from India or those with a travel history to India within 14 days before arrival will not be allowed to enter the Philippines due to the surge of COVID-19 infections in the said country.
Meanwhile, travellers who were already in transit and those who will arrive in the Philippines before Thursday are exempted from the ban.
“This is just so we can be able to ensure na ma-guard natin ‘yung borders natin. Lahat po yan ita-transmit as advisory especially for fellow Filipinos who would wish to go home, coming from this country,” Vergeire said.
Earlier, the health department said that the variant first reported in India has not yet been detected in the Philippines.
In line with this, health experts noted that the B.1.617 variant labelled as a “double mutant” is contributing to the increase in cases in India. The World Health Organization also reported that the variant has already been detected in at least 17 countries.
According to Vergeire, the travel ban on India aims to prevent the entry of the said coronavirus variant.
“Mag-iingat tayo kasi nakikita na natin ‘yung nangyayari sa kanila at ayaw na natin na magkaroon pa ng enabler ang ibang variants na pumasok dito sa ating bansa para makapag-cause pa ng further transmission ng sakit (We need to be cautious granted the situation over there [India], and we don’t want to create a situation that will enable other variants into the country to cause further harm than what we’re dealing with already),” she said.