Philippines reports 2,379 new COVID-19 infections

MANILA (Xinhua) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 356,618 after the Philippines’ Department of Health (DoH) reported 2,379 new cases yesterday.

The DoH said the number of recoveries also surged to 310,158 after 14,941 more patients recovered. Meanwhile, 50 more patients died from the viral disease, bringing the death toll to 6,652.

The DoH said over 4.1 million people in the Philippines have been tested so far. The Philippines has a population of about 110 million.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) of the Philippines yesterday said the Philippines still bars foreign nationals from entering the country.

Immigration Chief Jaime Morente said “inbound restrictions are still in place for foreign nationals”, adding that only Filipinos, their spouse, and minor children holding tourist visas are allowed to enter the country.

A man cycles at a market in Manila, the Philippines. PHOTO: XINHUA

But Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases (IATF) is “studying” whether to allow inbound travel to the Philippines after the lifting of the restriction on non-essential outbound travel.

“No promises. As I’ve said, that is still being carefully studied. We’re looking at a lot of factors,” Nograles, also the co-chair of the IATF, said in a Facebook Live video on Saturday night.

“For foreigners, international tourists, or international inbound passengers, it’s still a work in progress. We are still discussing how to resolve that. At least we got the outbound, the inbound is the next step,” he said.

“In December, I don’t want to make promises, but rest assured that it’s something that we are looking into,” Nograles added.

Starting October 21, Filipinos will be allowed to travel abroad following the government’s decision to lift the ban on non-essential outbound travel.