Tighter quarantine rules for returning OFWs

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DAVAO CITY — The city government of Davao will continue to apply the strict quarantine requirements for returning Dabawenyos on board sweeper and mercy flights organized by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

City Tourism Operations Officer Gene Rose Tecson in an interview with Newsline said “All returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are required to undergo the 14-day quarantine. “

As part of the measure, all incoming passengers via Mercy Flights will undergo the mandatory RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) testing at the airport.

Tecson explained the stiffer policy is an offshoot of the ‘Mercy flights organized by the DoTr which resulted in the discovery of three Covid-19 cases in the city.

The three who were certified negative for RT-PCR in Manila tested positive and immediately sent to SPMC for swabbing and they turned out to be positive,” Tecson said.

The patients are now confined in the isolation facility.

“Those who were tested positive during the RDT never left the airport for home. They were brought directly to SPMC for swabbing.”

Those who yielded negative results were allowed to go straight to their houses but must observe the 14-day quarantine back home.

The City Health Office, Tecson said, has adopted a system to monitor the returning OFW’s and they are enrolled in the StayHome App provided by the health authorities.

Tecson, who is also in charge of the entry of stranded and returning residents, said that before a resident can board a sweeper or mercy flight in Manila or elsewhere, must present a Certificate of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Testing with negative results.

She, however, underscored that even with a negative result, arriving passengers will still undergo a further screening process and rapid testing.

“As part of our measure, we instituted our own guidelines which are mandatory RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) testing at the airport. The three who were certified negative for RT-PCR in Manila tested positive and immediately sent to SPMC for swabbing and they turned out to be positive,” Tecson said.

She added that the returning OFWs were not allowed to go out of the arrival area unless they test negative from the RDT.

Those who tested negative were shuttled to their homes to ensure that they do not go elsewhere and strictly undergo self-quarantine. They were also given screening cards where they should monitor themselves if they develop symptoms within 14 days.

Recall that 33 Davao City residents of the 43 returning distressed OFWs arrived on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, through the mercy flight organized by the DOTr and DILG.

Coronavirus outbreak in Davao City is still far from over with new cases reported. As of May 15, Davao City has 72 active COVID-19 cases; 25 deaths; and, 82 recoveries. CIO

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