MANILA, May 6 (Mabuhay) –Only five — not six — travelers from India who entered the Philippines prior to the implementation of stricter border control tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Health clarified Thursday.

It said 149 passengers with a history of travel to India from April 1 to 30 have been recorded by the Bureau of Quarantine, 129 of whom are returning overseas Filipinos, and 20 are foreigners.

“Among these cases, five tested positive for COVID-19 through RT-PCR, while 137 of them tested negative… The test results of the seven remaining travelers are currently being verified,” the DOH said in a statement.

Likewise, it disclosed that four of the five positive cases are Filipinos and one is a foreigner. One of them remains in isolation while the current status of the other four is under verification.

“Samples from these positive cases are currently being determined if they are adequate for sequencing,” the department said, adding that it is working with local governments and regional surveillance units to monitor the status of the travelers.

On the other hand, the ban on travelers from India, which took effect on April 29, will end on May 14.

Starting Friday, the ban will also cover Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka — countries where cases of the B.1.617 variant first detected in India have been recorded.

The Philippines has so far recorded 1,075 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant, 948 cases of the B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom), 157 cases of the P.3 (Philippines), and two cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant. (MNS)

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