THE increase in the number of coronavirus cases among returning overseas Filipino workers (ROFs) and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) is expected as Cagayan de Oro continues to receive new arrivals.
As of Thursday, July 2, 2020, 28 of the 49 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Cagayan de Oro belong to the ROF/LSI category.
They constituted 57 percent of the total cases in the city.
"As long as we are receiving ROFs and LSIs, not only through sea trips nato pero naa pa gihapon ang atong (but we also have our) air travel and land travel, then we will still get a number of positive na LSIs or ROFs," Emergency Operations Center head Dr. Lorraine Nery said.
Nery said the imposition of the travel ban in Cebu has a diminishing factor but there is still a substantial number of LSIs arriving via sea from Manila.
"Kani pud sea trips nato from Manila, usually daghan pud ni ginaagian. Dili lang ni siya direct from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, naa puy laing giagian niya ayha pa sya makaabot sa Cagayan de Oro," Nery said.
(These sea trips from Manila, they dock in a lot of other places. They are not only direct trips from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, but it also goes to other places before it arrives in the city.)
City Health Office (CHO) epidemiologist Dr. Joselito Retuya, for his part, said even if they stop city natives from coming home from various parts of the country or abroad, the number of virus-positive patients in this category will still increase once the ban is lifted.
"Kung ihunong mang galing, mahunong ang mga number of LSIs and ROFs. Apan inig balik na pud nila, mobalik na pud na sya. Modaghan pa hinoon kay mas modaghan naman ang natanggong nga gusto mouli dinhi sa atoang dakbayan," Retuya said.
(If we ever stop it, the increase in the number of LSIs and ROFs will also stop. However, if they go back, it will go back. It will increase because a lot of those who are stranded wants to go back to our city.)
The current challenge, Retuya added, is how to intercept those who are traveling on land.
On Wednesday, July 1, City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the city should be ready to welcome LSI/ROF city natives regardless of the risk of Covid-19 infection.
"We need to accept them. Ato silang dawaton kay ato man na sila. Sulbahan nato atong problema dili nato hatagan sa lain og ilang atimanon kay naa sila'y kaugalingong problema (we need to accept them because they belong to ous. Let us solve our problem and not give it to others because they also have their problems)," Moreno said.