IATF recommends inclusion of Indonesia in travel ban — Duque
MANILA, Philippines — The pandemic task force has recommended the inclusion of Indonesia in the travel ban amid the increase of COVID-19 cases in the neighboring Asian country in the south, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.
Duque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is only awaiting the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte on the matter.
“Kung mag-eexpand ba tayo ng travel ban to Indonesia, naghihintay lang tayo ng kasagutan mula sa OP (Office of the President), but the IATF has already recommended that Indonesia be included in the list of countries that we initially imposed travel ban,” he said during a pre-SONA press conference.
(We are only awaiting the response from the OP regarding the decision on whether we will expand the travel ban to Indonesia. But the IATF has already recommended that Indonesia be included in the list of countries where we initially imposed a travel ban.)
At present, the Philippines’ travel ban covers India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Oman amid the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.
Malacañang announced earlier in the day that the travel ban for these countries was extended until July 31. The travel restrictions were supposed to lapse on July 15.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the IATF has directed its technical working group to provide recommendations on proper testing and quarantine protocols for travelers from the said countries and other nations that are considered “high risk” for COVID-19.
The Philippines has so far detected a total of 19 cases of the Delta variant first reported in India. However, these cases were detected at the Philippines’ borders and not in communities.
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