The Philippines has decided to extend a ban on passengers from India and nine other countries until the end of August over the concerns of highly contagious Delta variants of the coronavirus, said a spokesperson from the President’s office on August 13.
Approving the recommendation of the coronavirus task force, President Rodrigo Duterte extended the travel restrictions from August 16 to August 31, Harry Roque, a presidential spokesperson, said in a statement.
The numbers of coronavirus cases in the Philippines are a four-month high. The country recorded over 12,000 daily infections for a second straight day on August 12, and hospitals in some regions are nearing capacity.
The authorities have put the Manila capital region, the urban sprawl of 16 cities filled with 13 million people, under a stringent lockdown to curb the spread of Delta.
The country has managed to vaccinate about 11% (out of 110 million) of its population so far. As millions remain highly vulnerable to Covid-19, the Philippines’ government vigorously ramp up its vaccination drive.
As cases surge, more hospitals in the capital of the Philippines have reported intensive care units, isolation beds, and wards were nearing full capacity. Some hospitals have had to refuse new patients due to a lack of beds and ventilators.
Covid-19 has killed over 29,500 people in the Southeast Asian country so far.
To slow down the numbers of fresh Covid-19 infections and deaths, the administration is extending the travel ban that came into force on April 27. The Philippines government has rolled over several times and expanded for the countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UAE, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.