MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has recommended a travel ban on visitors from neighboring Indonesia as it battles a worsening surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.
In a pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum, Duque said the IATF is awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte's decision on the matter.
“Nag-aantay lang po tayo ng kasagutan mula sa Office of the President (We are just waiting for a response from the Office of the President) but the IATF has already recommended that Indonesia be included in the list of countries that we initially imposed a travel ban,” Duque said.
Reports said Indonesia has recorded 47,899 new infections as of Tuesday, bringing its total number of infections to 2.6 million.
It also reported 864 new deaths, pushing its death toll to over 68,000.
On Wednesday, the Philippines has extended the travel ban on travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Oman until the end of the month to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The Philippines has so far reported a total of 19 cases of the Delta variant, which was first detected in India.
The Delta coronavirus variant is found to be 60 percent more infectious than the Alpha variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and apparently behind the surge in cases in other countries, according to reports.
Duterte earlier expressed concern over the emergence of new Covid-19 strains like the Delta and Lambda variants and assured that the government is closely monitoring the country’s border to prevent local transmission.
On Tuesday, the Philippines logged 3,604 more new Covid-19 cases, bringing the country's total Covid-19 infections to 1,481,660.
Recoveries reached 1,408,634 with 5,840 new survivors while 77 new deaths brought the death toll to 26,092. (PNA)