The Philippines has extended its ban on travelers from 10 countries until Aug. 31 to curb the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of Covid-19.

The decision, made by President Rodrigo Duterte, was announced by Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Friday.

The travel ban covers India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

The Philippines has recorded 627 cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

As of Friday, 11 areas in Metro Manila have been placed under Alert Level 4, the highest alert level for Covid-19, over high utilization rates of healthcare facilities and growth rate of Covid-19 cases.

The Delta variant has been causing major Covid-19 surges in Southeast Asian countries.

A person infected with the Covid-19 Delta variant, which was first detected in India, can infect up to eight people, according to experts. John Ezekiel J. Hirro