Six travelers who arrived in the Philippines from India have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire that the said six Covid-19 patients were among the 110 travelers from India who arrived in the country before the travel ban was implemented.

“As to these Indian travelers that were quarantined upon arrival here before the restrictions were imposed, 110 of them underwent testing and six turned out to be positive and it is now submitted to the Philippine Genome Center for whole genome sequencing,” she said in an online press briefing.

The Philippines imposed a travel ban from India on April 29 after the said country reported a huge surge of cases. The ban will end on May 14. 

The ban includes those people coming from India and those with travel history to India within the last 14 days before the restriction was imposed. 

India is the world’s new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic after experiencing a fast outbreak of Covid-19. Experts also raised concern over the B.1.617 variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that was found in India in October last year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the said variant as a “variant of interest” as it was discovered to have various mutations, like the E484Q and L452R, known as the “double mutant.” Ronald dela Cruz