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DFA Chief Locsin Calls for Travel Ban on India Due to COVID Surge

India is battling a surge in infections.
by Arianne Merez
Just now
Photo/s: Lilian Suwanrumpha, Agence France-Presse

The Philippines top diplomat said Tuesday he recommended imposing a travel ban on India as the South Asian nation struggled to contain a surge in COVID-19 infections.

Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he suggested the travel ban to the government's inter-agency task force on COVID-19 "for everyone's safety."

"I have suggested to the IATF that a travel ban be imposed on all our good friends in the entire Indian subcontinent; it’s not personal; it’s for everyone’s safety for now," he said in a tweet.

"We’ll be able to be together again and we can recall the time when we had to be apart to live," he said.

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In a separate tweet, Locsin said a travel ban would have no implications on the Philippines' foreign policy for "we mean it with only the best intentions for everyone’s safety and with an abiding affection and admiration for India, the pharmacy of the world."

The South Asian giant of 1.3 billion people recorded 352,991 new infections and 2,812 deaths on Monday -- its highest levels since the pandemic began -- as its Hindu-nationalist government comes under fire for allowing mass gatherings such as religious festivals and political rallies in recent weeks.

-- with a report from Agence France Presse

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