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Philippines to bar travel from Malaysia, Thailand to curb spread of COVID-19 Delta variant

Philippines to bar travel from Malaysia, Thailand to curb spread of COVID-19 Delta variant

Passengers wearing hazmat suits for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/Files

MANILA: The Philippines will ban travellers coming from Malaysia and Thailand, as well as tighten restrictions in the Manila area, in a bid to prevent the spread of the contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, the presidential spokesperson said on Friday (Jul 23).

The travel restriction will take effect from Sunday and run to the end of July, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a national address.

"This action is undertaken to prevent the further spread and community transmission of COVID-19 variants in the Philippines," Roque said.

The Philippines has previously banned travellers from eight countries including Indonesia and India.

READ: Philippines detects first local COVID-19 transmission of Delta variant

To try and prevent further domestic transmission of the Delta variant, President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities that is home to more than 13 million people, and four provinces under stricter coronavirus curbs until the end of July.

Indoor sports and conference venues, indoor tourist attractions and gyms are not allowed to do business, while the operating capacity of indoor and al fresco dining has been cut.

In addition, children between the ages of five and 17 will not be allowed to leave their homes.

The Philippines has recorded 47 cases of the Delta variant, eight of which are active, and three deaths.

With more than 1.53 million infections and nearly 27,000 deaths, the Philippines has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases and casualties in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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