MANILA— The Philippines is extending the suspension of entry of travelers from 10 countries until Sept. 5 to arrest the spread of more contagious COVID-19 variants linked to an uptick in infections, Malacañang said on Friday.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the extension of the travel ban until Sept. 5 from the end date Aug. 31, said his spokesman Harry Roque.
The restriction covers India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, Roque said in a statement.
"These travel restrictions form part of the pro-active measures to slow down the rising number of COVID-19 cases, stop further spread of variants, and increase the country's existing health care capacity," he said.
The travel ban exempts Filipinos who are part of repatriation efforts or special commercial flights, Malacañang earlier said.
The Philippines, which has among the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia, is battling a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases driven by community transmission of the more infectious Delta variant.
The health department has recorded some 1.98 million COVID-19 cases, including 145,562 active infections.
The government is pinning its hopes for economic recovery on its inoculation program that started in March.
At least 13.7 million people out of the 70-million target have been fully vaccinated so far.
— With a report from Reuters