Philippines extends ban on travellers from Thailand, 9 other countries

Philippines extends ban on travellers from Thailand, 9 other countries

A man receives cash assistance from the Philipines government following the imposition of a two-week lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant, at an elementary school in Manila on Aug 11. (Photo: Reuters)
A man receives cash assistance from the Philipines government following the imposition of a two-week lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant, at an elementary school in Manila on Aug 11. (Photo: Reuters)

MANILA: The Philippines will extend a ban on travellers from Thailand and nine other countries to the end of August because of concerns posed by the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, the presidential spokesman said on Friday.

Authorities in the Philippines are scrambling to contain a jump in coronavirus cases to a four-month high, with infections staying above the 12,000 mark for a second straight day on Thursday, and hospitals in some areas nearing capacity.

The travel ban, which was first imposed on April 27, has been rolled over several times and expanded to include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the coronavirus task force to extend the travel restrictions from Aug 16 to Aug 31, spokesman Harry Roque said.

The Manila capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities that is home to 13 million people, remains under a strict lockdown to contain the spread of Delta, while the government ramps up its vaccination drive.

With about 11% of the country's 110 million people fully immunised, millions still remain highly vulnerable to Covid-19, which has killed more than 29,500 in the Southeast Asian country. As cases surge, more hospitals in the capital region have reported intensive care units, isolation beds and wards were nearing full capacity and some have had to refuse new patients because of a lack of beds and ventilators.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (5)

Malaysia faces 'inconvenient truth' on clean energy goals

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Chuan Zhen Ko's passion for clean energy and climate change was first ignited by his university lecturers and watching the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth", starring former US Vice-President Al Gore.

11:14

Unsafe dust levels in 43 provinces, including Bangkok

Forty-three provinces, including Bangkok and its suburbs, remain blanketed in smog, with PM2.5 dust levels over the safe limit of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/m3) on Friday morning, the Pollution Control Department reported.

11:08

Officials optimistic over Laos borders

The Commerce Ministry is bullish about bilateral trade with Laos after officials recently met their counterparts to accelerate the reopening of four border checkpoints opposite Thailand's Nong Khai province.

10:22