KUWTT: 4 more countries added to travel ban May 6, 2021

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Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Thursday, May 6, 2021.

READ: 4 more countries added to travel ban

THE government has expanded the travel ban earlier imposed on those coming from India to include four other countries to prevent the Indian variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from entering the country. This develops as the Department of Health (DoH) said six passengers who arrived from India before the government imposed a travel ban tested positive for Covid-19. The Philippines on Wednesday also banned the entry of travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka to avert the spread of the B1617 variant. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed the memorandum that expanded the travel ban earlier imposed on travelers from India.

READ: From 70M to 50M: Jab target lowered

THE government may not be able to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos if delays in the delivery of vaccines will persist, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar, said. The virus surge in India affected the vaccine supply in the Philippines, forcing officials to revise its vaccination target. The government previously aimed to inoculate 70 percent of the country’s 110 million population to achieve herd immunity. Galvez, however, said the lack of vaccines required a tweaking to achieve a “more realistic target.” The Philippines signed a supply agreement with the Serum Institute of India for 30 million doses of Novavax vaccines, which were scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter of 2021.

READ: Veteran journalist Ricky Lo writes 30

THE entertainment industry mourned the passing of veteran editor and columnist Ricardo “Ricky” Lo who died on Tuesday at the age of 75. His sister, Susan Lee, announced the sad news but did not specify the cause of his death and asked for understanding as their family grieves. Known for his top-notch interviews with local and Hollywood A-list celebrities, Lo was in the industry for at least 50 years, 35 years of it being an associate editor and an entertainment editor for the Philippine Star since July 1986.

READ: Moderna vaccine gets EUA

THE Philippine Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to the mRNA-1273 vaccine of American drugmaker Moderna. It was the seventh vaccine granted an EUA by the FDA. FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said the vaccine satisfied the required conditions with its high interim clinical trial data of 94.1 percent efficacy rate.

READ: Senate, DoF reach pork compromise

THE Senate and the Department of Finance have reached a “compromise” to amend Executive Order (EO) 128 that increased pork importation and lowered the tariff on meat imports, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd revealed on Wednesday. He made the announcement after some senators held a meeting with the country’s economic managers.

READ: Eleazar named new PNP chief

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has appointed LtGen. Guillermo Eleazar as the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Malacañang said on Wednesday. In a statement, Palace spokesman Harry Roque, Jr. confirmed the President has signed on Eleazar’s appointment. Eleazar will replace Gen. Debold Siñas who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on May 8.

BUSINESS: April inflation stays at 4.5%

Topping business, Philippine headline inflation stayed at 4.5 percent in April due to the slower pick up in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported. In a briefing on Wednesday, National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said last month’s figure matched the recorded inflation in March but still significantly higher than the 2.2 percent a year ago. It also settled within the 4.2- to 5-percent forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the 4.5- to 4.8-percent projection of analysts polled by The Manila Times.

SPORTS: Rowers vie for Olympic slots

In sports, the national rowing team starts its campaign in the 2021 World Rowing Asian-Oceanian Olympic Qualification Regatta at Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday with a “thank you” to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for supporting their efforts for Olympic slots. PSC Chairman “Butch” Ramirez said he hopes for more qualifiers from the national team and assured “the PSC will give all-out support for athletes no matter the present situation, for as long as we can.”

READ: Opinion and editorial

Ricardo Saludo, Ramon Tulfo and Arch. Felino Palafox, Jr. are today’s front page columnists. Saludo discusses the facts and fallacies of comparing President Rodrigo Duterte’s Covid-19 response to other countries, Tulfo believs the government hijacked 13 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, while Arch. Palafox continues his series on projecting 100 new cities by 2050.

Today’s editorial believes there is a grim outlook for global carbon dioxide emissions. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section and listen to the Voice of the Times.

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With Dafort Villaseran, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. May you have a safe Thursday ahead.

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