PCG brings home 83 LSIs from Soccsksargen, other regions

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Some 83 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from Metro Manila arrived here on Wednesday afternoon aboard the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) BRP Gabriela Silang.

The PCG patrol vessel, which left the Port Area in Manila at noon last Monday with stranded residents from Region 12 (Soccsksargen) and neighboring regions, docked at the Makar wharf at about 1:30 pm, a day ahead of its scheduled arrival.

Minda Morante, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 12 director, said Thursday 51 of the passengers were from parts of Soccsksargen while 32 were from the Davao region and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Morante said 19 of the LSIs from Soccsksargen were from this city, 13 from Sarangani, 11 from Sultan Kudarat, seven from North Cotabato, and one from South Cotabato; 28 were from Maguindanao and two from Lanao del Sur in BARMM; and two from Sarangani, Davao del Sur.

“All LSIs were provided transportation assistance by their respective LGUs (local government units),” she said in a report.

Morante said the passengers from Lanao del Sur and Davao Occidental were temporarily accommodated at the quarantine facility in the city sports complex in Barangay Calumpang and were fetched by concerned LGUs on Thursday.

The LSIs were the first batch from the area that was catered to by the PCG through BRP Gabriela Silang (Offshore Patrol Vessel 8301).

The PCG facilitated the return of the LSIs, with some disembarking in Davao City, after being considered free from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in rapid diagnostic tests.

Dr. Rochelle Oco, head of the City Health Office (CHO), said the passengers from the city were immediately brought to the designated quarantine facility upon arrival and subjected to health screening and disinfection.

“The LSIs will still undergo quarantine for 14 days and will be closely monitored by our health workers,” Oco told reporters.

She assured that their personnel strictly followed the health and safety protocol on the handling of the returning residents.

Since last month, a total of 329 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and LSIs have returned home through “sweeper” flights and sea travel from Manila and Cebu.

Two of the returning LSIs from Cebu last May 31 tested positive for Covid-19 but the CHO said both are in stable condition.

The city’s first Covid-19 case, which was recorded in March, has already fully recovered. -PNA

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