SOME 60 stranded Dabawenyos in Cebu arrived in Davao City on Monday, May 25, through a sweeper bus trip after nearly two months of being stranded.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in a radio interview via 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio confirmed that the sweeper bus arrived on Monday at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT).
Duterte-Carpio said the bus trip was sponsored by the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (Osap) for the Visayas.
In a report from SunStar Cebu published on May 24, Osap Visayas senior staff Girlie Veloso said the bus trip ferried 54 Dabawenyos, including 20 blind therapists.
Veloso said most of the stranded wanted to go home since they already lost their jobs.
The stranded passengers were boarding Super Shuttle Roro 10 going to Cagayan de Oro City where they were fetched by the City Government of Davao for a land trip returning to the city.
On the same day, Duterte-Carpio announced that two sweeper flights initiated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) arrived in the morning and afternoon straight from Manila.
The mayor, during the interview, has not received further details as to how many passengers were carried during the flight.
Duterte-Carpio reiterated that health screenings and protocols were properly observed while catering stranded passengers going to the city.
She also said that they are looking into the possibility that some of these passengers would be positive with the coronavirus disease.
"I-expect lang pud ninyo nga duna gyuy mag positive sa ilaha, because walay tambal/bakuna, motuyok ang mga tao, motuyok gyud na ang kagaw. But ang importante duna tay sistema [sa health screening] nga naandam sa pag manage sa Covid-19 (We should expect that there will be someone among these passengers who will be positive for Covid-19. It is expected since there is still no medicine or vaccine. While people are still going around, the virus is also being carried around. But what is important is that we have an existing health screening ready to manage those with Covid-19)," the mayor said.
Recently, two passengers who arrived from the May 21 Owwa flight failed in the initial health screening and are currently undergoing confirmatory tests at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).
A similar mercy flight conducted on May 12 had three coronavirus-positive patients who were immediately sent to SPMC after testing positive in the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for Sars-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the mayor said the City Government, from April 29 to May 21, was able to allow 2,455 individuals to return to their respective residences, while the city was able to allow 1,045 individuals to return to the city. (With reports from Sunstar Cebu)