Philippines bans travelers from 21 countries with new COVID-19 variant; U.S. not included

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There are more than four million Filipinos or Americans with Filipino ancestry in the Philippines based on the 2018 American Community Survey. That number is expected to be higher today.

Pres. Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said the list was a recommendation from the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases. During a meeting with the task force on Saturday, the Philippine president said he wants to create a new government task force composed of medical experts who will focus on studying the new COVID-19 variant.

In the U.S., drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna are testing their coronavirus vaccines against the new COVID-19 variant.

Moderna said it expects that “vaccine-induced immunity would be protective against the variant recently described in the UK; we will be performing additional tests in the coming weeks.”

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