The Philippines on Monday lifted a ban that barred nurses and health workers to go and work abroad, a presidential spokesman announced. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte allowed nurses and other healthcare workers with “complete documents as of Aug. 31” to leave and work overseas, Philippines News Agency reported.

It was in early April that the Southeast Asian country forbid medical professionals from going overseas as part of efforts to bolster its healthcare system against the novel coronavirus.

The decision is expected to benefit as many as 1,500 health personnel. Millions of Filipinos live and work in the US, Europe and the Middle East.

Philippines has so far reported 286,743 COVID-19 cases, the highest in Southeast Asia, according to Johns Hopkins University. While 230,233 patients recovered, 4,984 died.

The spokesman, however, said that the outbreak is “in control.”

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