SWU-Phinma med students in Bohol return home

CLOSE to 60 medical students from a private university in Cebu who were stranded in Bohol since the start of the Covid-19 crisis were able to return home onboard a cargo vessel on Wednesday afternoon, May 27, 2020.

Lt. Junior Grade Erick Salcedo, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Visayas spokesperson, said the students of the Southwestern University-Phinma were able to travel home onboard a cargo vessel owned by Lite Shipping Corp.

Salcedo said the students had to secure certifications from local government units (LGUs) in Cebu where they came from.

Salcedo said the receiving LGUs will have to impose a 14-day quarantine on the students before they can head home.

He added that the PCG’s role on the students’ return was to approve the disembarkation of the vessel that took them home and to facilitate the coordination between the LGUs where they are from and where they are going.

Separately, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap confirmed that the 60 medical students were cleared to return to Cebu City on April 28.

He said they presented medical certificates of fitness and were certified to be non-person under monitoring nor patient under investigation and were completely asymptomatic and healthy.

“Bohol is Covid-19 free at this point, hence no rapid antibody tests are necessary as evaluated by Ellan Salada, M.D., our infectious disease specialist in Gallares Hospital,” he said.

Lorie Soldevilla, one of the students, told SunStar Cebu that she and her fellow students were working as medical interns at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City as one of their requirements for graduation.

They traveled to Bohol on Jan. 31 and started their internship duties on Feb. 2.

When Bohol Province initiated a community quarantine in March, Solvedilla and her fellow medical interns were no longer allowed to go on duty and had to stay at their lodgings.

Soldevilla said it was their university that helped them get the needed documents so they could go home.

Upon their return to Cebu, Soldevilla and her fellow medical interns will undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine before they will be able to join their families. (BBT, WBS / JKV)


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