Sri Lanka blasts: At least 138 dead, over 400 injured

UNTV News   •   April 21, 2019   •   5029

Explosions in three Sri Lankan churches and three luxury hotels on Sunday morning (April 21) have killed 138 people and injured over 400.

Police officials said more than 50 were killed in the blast at St. Sebastian’s Catholic church in Katuwapitiya, while 25 were also killed at a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province. Another explosion was also reported at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

The local media also reported blasts from three hotels in Colombo, namely the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury Hotel.

Nine foreigners were among the dead, according to authorities.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned the attacks and has already called a national security council meeting.

St. Sebastian Church also appealed for aid in behalf of the individuals and families affected by the blast—Reuters

Philippines to lift travel ban on 10 countries starting September 6

UNTV News   •   September 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to lift the current travel restrictions on travelers from 10 countries starting September 6, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced in a statement on Saturday.

These countries are namely:  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nonetheless, international travelers coming from the said countries shall comply with the appropriate entry, testing and quarantine protocols, depending on the country’s approved “listing,” Roque said.

He added that the IATF has adopted the “Yellow” and “Red” classifications, in addition to the “Green List” countries/jurisdictions/territories.

Roque said this is based on the countries’ respective incidence rates and case counts as primary criteria, and testing data as secondary criteria.  The incidence rate is the cumulative new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population while case counts are cumulative new cases over the past 28 days.

The government first imposed the travel restrictions on India in April then later expanded to include more countries to stem the spread of Delta variant, the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19.

 

PH extends ban on travelers from India to May 31; adds Oman, UAE in travel restrictions

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has extended its existing ban on travelers from India until May 31 to prevent the spread of a coronavirus variant first detected in the South Asian nation, Malacañang said.

In a statement on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said passengers coming from India are still not allowed to enter the Philippines until 2359H of May 31, 2021.

The Philippines also extended its travel ban for passengers coming from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka in the same period.

Roque also announced the expansion of the country’s travel restrictions to include travelers coming from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or those with travel history to these countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival.

The entry ban on travelers from Oman and the UAE will take effect on May 15 until May 31.

Roque said the ban was recommended by the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Passengers who are already in transit from the said countries or have been to the same areas within 14 days and arrived in the Philippines before May 15 will be allowed entry.

They will, however, be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols, notwithstanding a negative Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) result.

“The Department of Transportation should ensure that airlines are directed not to allow the boarding of passengers who are prohibited from entering the country pursuant to travel restrictions imposed by the Office of the President and IATF resolutions except if they are part of the repatriation efforts of the national government,” Roque said.

PH temporarily bans entry of travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has expanded its entry ban on travelers to include those coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a memorandum dated May 5, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the travel ban will be effective from May 7 to 14.

Medialdea said passengers coming from or who have been to the said countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be prohibited from entering the country.

Passengers coming from or who have been to the same countries within 14 days and are arriving before the travel ban will be allowed entry but shall undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR test result, he added.

The memorandum also stated that all passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through these countries shall not be subjected to the procedures as long as they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into these countries by their immigration authorities.

They also do not need to complete the 14-day quarantine period once they arrive in the Philippines, provided that they comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols of the national government.

The Philippine government earlier banned travelers from India from April 29 to May 14 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases there. The coronavirus variant first reported in India has not yet been detected in the Philippines.

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