The Philippines has extended until July 15 its ban on travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the travel ban was extended to keep the Delta Covid-19 variant from reaching the Philippines.

“Isa itong proactive measure sa patuloy na pagpapatupad ng international border control dahil sa Covid-19 Delta variant,” Roque said in a PTV-4 announcement.

The Delta variant, first detected in India, has been found to be 60 percent more transmissible.

It has the potential to be “more lethal” due to the efficiency in its transmission method, and “it will eventually find those vulnerable individuals who will become severely ill, have to be hospitalized and potentially die,” according to Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization.

This is the fourth time the country extended the travel ban over the Delta variant.

The travel ban on India was first imposed from April 29 to May 15.

The Philippines has reported 17 cases of the Delta variant. John Ezekiel J. Hirro