Tue, 22 Jun 2021

MANILA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Friday 7,733 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,087,885.

The death toll climbed to 18,099 after 108 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

The Philippines, which has about 110 million population, has tested over 11 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.

To break the transmission chain of COVID-19, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said all arriving travelers are required to undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

"The first 10 days of which shall be observed in a quarantine facility, which the remainder to be completed under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination," Roque announced on television.

Roque said travelers will be swab tested on the seventh day. "Despite a negative test result, the arriving travelers shall complete the facility-based quarantine period of 10 days," he added.

Roque said the Bureau of Quarantine "shall ensure strict symptom monitoring while in the quarantine facility for 10 days."

The revised testing protocol stemmed from the experts' findings that the viral load is at its peak around seven or eight days after exposure.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a separate online briefing that the DOH recommended the new rules to the inter-agency coronavirus task force to ensure that travelers, including Filipinos, are "properly isolated and break the chain of transmission."

The Philippines still bars foreign tourists from entering the country. Only foreigners with valid visas, such as diplomats and investors, are allowed.

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