Sri Lankan police releases details of bombers

Robie de Guzman   •   May 2, 2019   •   2544

Alleged suicide bombers involved in attacks that targeted hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019 | Courtesy : Reuters

Sri Lanka police on Wednesday (May 1) released pictures and names of men they described as suicide bombers involved in attacks that targeted hotels and churches.

Police suspect members of two previously little-known groups – National Thawheedh Jamaath and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim – of carrying out the bombings that killed at least 253 people, including 40 foreign nationals, on April 21.

A government source told Reuters on Tuesday (April 30) police and other security forces across the Buddhist-majority country had been ordered to remain on high alert.

This is because the militants were expected to try to strike again, before the holy month of Ramadan which starts on Monday (May 6). (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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