Duque to recommend stricter border control for arriving travelers from Middle East
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday that he will recommend a stricter border control for arriving travelers coming from the Middle East following the detection of two cases of the COVID-19 variant first reported in India.
“I will recommend that certainly, but I am in touch with our WHO (World Health Organization) country representative in the same manner that we have expanded our travel ban beyond India,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel when asked if he will suggest a stricter border control for travelers from the Middle East.
“Rest assured I will make that recommendation,” he added.
According to Duque, the B.1.617 variant first detected in India has already been reported in 42 countries. He said, however, that he needs to consult the country representative of WHO in the Philippines first if the stricter border control should cover more countries that have already confirmed the presence of the variant.
The two individuals in the country who were found to have the B.1.617 variant were returning overseas Filipinos who came from Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
The two cases have already recovered from COVID-19.
The Philippines has imposed a travel ban from arriving travelers from India until May 14. The ban was then extended to Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
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