Maguindanao studes left with expired health clearance

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CEBU CITY – The 12 students who tested positive for the new coronavirus when they arrived in Maguindanao were not able to leave this city within the prescribed 48 hours after receiving their travel clearances.

This was clarified on Thursday, May 28, by City Attorney Rey Gealon, who said that people stranded in Cebu City must travel back to their home provinces within 48 hours after the issuance of a health certification.

Gealon said the students have complied with the “Balik Probinsiya” requirements, including the 14-day quarantine and swab testing.

However, the students were able to board a ship bound for Cagayan de Oro on May 13, which was already five days late after they were tested on May 8.

The city attorney, who also serves as City Hall spokesman, said the clearance issued by the City Health Office last May 8 was valid only for 48 hours.

“Ato lang klarohon nga dili tinuod nga atong gipapauli ang mga estudyante nga untested, kay atong gituman ang tanang rekisitos sa ‘Balik Probinsiya’ program sa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force),” Gealon said.

Mayor Edgardo Labella immediately ordered a probe on the case after receiving an email from Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Mangudadatu earlier this week informing him of the plight of the students who arrived from Cebu City.

The team tasked to investigate and conduct the contract tracing said the students may have been infected with the virus after May 8.

The 12 students have different residential addresses during their stay in Cebu. Most of them stayed in Cebu City, while some lived in Lapu-Lapu City.

There were actually 16 students from Maguindanao who availed of the government’s “Balik Probinsiya” Program, but fortunately four of them turned out negative of Covid-19.

Exit the Editor

They were all architecture board examination reviewees who got stranded in Cebu after the city and the entire province was placed under enhanced community quarantine in March. (LBG)

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