Six travelers from India have tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in the Philippines, according to Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
According to Vergeire, the lot entered the country before the ban on foreign arrivals from India was imposed.
She noted that a total of 110 travelers from India were tested for the virus – but only six were confirmed to have been infected by the COVID-19 virus.
Vergeire said samples from the infected six will be brought to Philippine Genome Center to identify the strain of coronavirus they caught.
“Anim turned out to be positive and it is now submitted to the Philippine Genome Center for whole genome sequencing,” she said in a virtual press conference.
Although they’ve managed to track most of the Indian travelers, Vergeire mentioned that they have yet to find six more individuals who arrived in the country before borders were closed.
“Meron pong anim na hanggang ngayon ay nilo-locate pa rin natin,” she said.
The Philippines imposed a temporary ban on foreign arrivals from India on April 29 after the Southeast Asian country experienced an unprecedented surge of new COVID-19 cases. It will last until May 14.
Vergeire hopes that the ban will prevent variants from entering the country.
“That’s the hope, that we can prevent the entry of specific variants into the country,” she said.
The DOH will recommend mandatory testing for travelers entering the country – seven to eight days from their arrival date – to sort out positive cases, the undersecretary said.
“Kahit ano pa pong variant… kailangan lagi po tayong protektado, so continue doing the minimum public health standards,” Vergeire stressed.
At present time, the Philippines has recorded 5,685 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total number of active cases in the country to 62,713.
You can view the DOH’s latest infection tally below.