As the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19 wreaks havoc in India, now more countries are reporting this strain. The variant first detected in India has now been found in the Philippines.

10 more patients were found to have the B.1.617 strain of Covid-19, bringing to 12 the total number of cases of the more contagious Indian variant in the country, DPA quoted the department of health as saying.

One case was a seafarer who returned home from Belgium via the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) in April, and the other nine cases were that of crew members of the cargo ship MV Athens Bridge, which docked in Manila last week to seek medical help for two crew who were in critical condition.

The Philippines is one  among the long list of countries that have banned travellers from India. Philippines has also banned travellers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where the Indian COVID-19 variant was reported.

The ban was first implemented on April 29 for travellers from India or those who had recently travelled to the South Asian country. It was then extended after the B.1.617 variant was detected in two overseas Filipino workers who returned to the country in April.

The two patients – a 37-year-old male and a 58-year-old male – have already recovered and had no close contact with family or community members because they were quarantined on arrival, the department said.

(With IANS inputs)