BI gears up to impose travel ban on India; clarifies ban not ‘nationality-specific’

Marje Pelayo   •   April 28, 2021   •   639

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is gearing up in preparation for the imposed restrictions for travelers coming from India.

The resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) bars the entry of travelers coming from India or those with a travel history to India within the last 14 days preceding arrival beginning April 29 until May 14.

“We will implement this measure seen by the IATF as our response to the emerging situation in India,” said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

The said ban has been imposed following the detection and spread of a new covid variant first detected in India.

“The IATF deems that this proactive restriction must be put in place to slow down the surge in COVID-19 cases, stop further spread of variants, and allow the health system to prepare, essentially protecting more lives,” he added.

Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong clarified, however, that the travel ban is not specific to any nationality but it applies to any traveler coming from the region.

“We are conducting 100% passport inspection to determine the travel history of an arriving person,” he said.

“If we see that the traveler has been to India within the last 14 days, then he will be excluded and boarded on the next available flight back to his port of origin,” he added.

Capulong added that they are not expecting incoming passengers from India as the IATF resolution clearly stated that airlines are directed not to allow the boarding of passengers pursuant to travel restrictions.

Passengers already in transit who will arrive before April 29 may be allowed, but will be referred to the appropriate agencies for stricter quarantine and testing protocols, to be subjected to an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, the official concluded.

WHO issues emergency use listing for India’s Covaxin COVID-19 jab

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 4, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, Nov. 3, granted emergency use listing (EUL) to India’s homegrown COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin.

Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, is the eight COVID-19 vaccine validated by WHO.

WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommended that Covaxin should be used in two doses, with a dose interval of four weeks, in all age groups 18 and above.

The said vaccine was found to have 78% efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity, 14 or more days after the second dose, and is extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.

WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products Dr. Mariângela Simão said Covaxin was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety, efficacy, a risk management plan and programmatic suitability.

“This emergency use listing expands the availability of vaccines, the most effective medical tools we have to end the pandemic. We must keep up the pressure to meet the needs of all populations, giving priority to the at-risk groups who are still waiting for their first dose, before we can start declaring victory,” Simão said.

Meanwhile, available data on vaccination of pregnant women with the vaccine are insufficient to assess vaccine safety or efficacy in pregnancy; studies in pregnant women are planned, including a pregnancy sub-study and a pregnancy registry. AAC

 

 

 

 

BI includes 9 countries in Philippines’ travel ban list

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced a travel ban on nine more countries which  took effect on Sunday (September 12).

These countries are Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in an advisory said that passengers coming from, or who have been in the said countries within the last 14 days prior to their arrival to the Philippines, shall temporarily be barred entry.

This directive is in compliance with the recent directive from Malacañang, as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Morente clarified that passengers already in transit from the 9 countries who will arrive before the implementation of the travel ban may be allowed to enter, subject to existing policies of the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

Also, Filipinos arriving from countries under the “red list” via government or non-government repatriation programs or bayanihan flights, may be allowed entry.

However, they shall undergo a strict 14-day facility based quarantine, and be required to undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that will be monitored by the BOQ.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong added that those who had a mere layover at the nine countries are not covered by the travel ban.

The travel ban remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. of September 18, 2021.

PH bars travelers from nine countries under ‘red list’

UNTV News   •   September 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Friday, September 10, the imposition of travel restrictions on 9 countries that fall under the “red list” in an effort to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque in a statement.

These countries include Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland.

Roque said, all passengers coming from or who have been to the said “red list” countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, shall be prohibited from entering the country effective September 12, 2021, 12:00 noon until September 18, 2021, 11:59 p.m. (Manila time).

He said the restrictions exempt returning Filipinos who are flying back via government-initiated or non-government repatriation programs and special commercial flights allowed under existing IATF resolutions.

Roque further said that all passengers who have been to the red-listed countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines and arriving before September 12 at 12:00 noon (Manila time), shall be allowed to enter the country.

“They, however, shall be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, where the first 10 days shall be at a quarantine facility and the remaining days under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination,” the Palace official said.

Roque added that RT-PCR testing shall be conducted on the 7th day with the day of arrival as Day 1.

” Arriving passengers shall complete a 10-day facility-based quarantine, notwithstanding a negative test result.” he said.

In the case of Filipino or foreign passengers who merely transited through any of the abovementioned countries, Roque said they shall not be considered as having come or having been to the said country, provided they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry by immigration authorities.

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