• Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:19 am

Covid: Philippines bans travellers from Bangladesh after 2 cases of Indian variant

  • Published at 12:10 pm May 11th, 2021
A passenger wearing a face mask and face shield for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks towards a counter in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque
FILE PHOTO: A passenger wearing a face mask and face shield for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks towards a counter in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 14, 2021 Reuters

Their move comes a day after the UAE, Thailand and Kuwait barred travellers from Bangladesh

The Philippines has temporarily barred travellers coming from Bangladesh and India after detecting its first two cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India.

In a bid to prevent the entry of variants, the Philippines has also barred travellers from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal from entering the country.

Their move comes a day after the UAE, Thailand and Kuwait also barred flights from Bangladesh over the same concern.

The Philippines health ministry on Tuesday disclosed the detection of the two cases of the coronavirus variant, known as B.1.617.

The variant had been confirmed in two Filipino seafarers who returned in April from the United Arab Emirates and Oman, Alethea De Guzman, director of the ministry's epidemiology bureau, told a news conference.

"We need to continually monitor what other variants we may be able to detect locally, as well as monitor the spread of the variants we have already detected," De Guzman said, adding that the seafarers were isolated on their return and had both recovered.

The World Health Organziation has classified the Indian variant of global concern with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.

Indonesia and Malaysia this month reported the first cases of the B.1.617 coronavirus variant.

The Philippines has also previously recorded cases of a variant first detected in Britain and another first discovered in South Africa, as well as a home-grown P.3 variant.

With 1.1 million infections and 18,562 deaths, the Philippines has the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases and casualties in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.

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