PHL to temporarily ban travelers from Pakistan, three other countries starting May 7, DOH says

(Eagle News) — Starting May 7, the Philippines will also temporarily ban passengers coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka or those who have been to those countries within 14 days before their travel to the Philippines.

This is according to the Department of Health, which issued a statement on Thursday, May 6.

Earlier, the Philippine government banned travelers from India following reports of another variant possibly causing a surge in that country.

The ban, however, did not cover passengers from India prior to the announcement.

Nonetheless, the DOH said it  was closely monitoring all those with travel history to India prior to the imposition of the travel ban.

It said the Bureau of Quarantine recorded 149 passengers with travel history from India from April 1 to 30.

Of these, 129 were Returning Overseas Filipinos and 20 foreign nationals.

All of these passengers were quarantined upon arrival and tested on the 6th or 7th day, the DOH said.

Of these cases, the DOH said, five (not six as it earlier said) tested positive for COVID-19.

Among those who tested positive, one is still in isolation while the “disposition of the (four) patients are being verified,” the DOH said.

It said samples from these positive cases are still being verified for sequencing adequacy.

“With the increased detection of variants as evidenced by the results of intensified biosurveillance activities, stronger border control measures, stringent adherence to quarantine protocols for all incoming international travelers, and effectively implementing Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate response strategies at the national and local levels are of absolute importance in preventing the local spread of these variants,” the department said.

It also urged the practice of protective measures, including strict compliance to minimum public health standards across all settings and vaccination “when it’s your turn.”