DUE to a recent spike in the number of Covid-19 infections in Metro Manila, Cebu City residents who are stranded in the country’s capital must first comply with additional requirements before they can be allowed to come back home.

The requirements include a letter of acceptance (LOA) from their respective barangays.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementor of the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Emergency Operations Center in Cebu City, said before issuing the LOA, barangay officials must first inspect the home of the incoming LSI to determine if this is viable for the LSI’s mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

Garganera said the LSI should have his own bathroom and bedroom, while there should be no pregnant women, senior citizens, or people with comorbidities living in the same house.

Should the house fail to meet even just one of the requirements, Garganera said the LSI’s family will have to find an alternative living arrangement for the returning LSI such as having the person stay in an apartment.

Garganera, who is also the Covid-19 Task Force on Seaports and Coastal Areas chairman, added that once the LSI arrives in Cebu City, the barangay will facilitate swab testing at the IC3 Bayanihan Center.

An appointment has to be set prior to the swabbing to prevent overcrowding at the IC3 and to ensure the safety of the LSI, Garganera said.

To ensure that LSIs who need to undergo home quarantine really stay at home, Garganera said the City has started to implement an added measure — marking the LSI’s finger with indelible ink.

Garganera said if a marked LSI is seen in public, that would be tantamount to a violation of Cebu City’s quarantine protocols.

For incoming LSIs from other areas of the country, only a travel authority from the Philippine National Police and an identification card proving residency in Cebu City are needed.

However, they are also encouraged to undergo swab testing at the Bayanihan Center.

As of Aug. 5, 2020, Wednesday, the ports in Cebu City already received 434 inbound LSIs, while there were 1,443 outbound LSIs both from Cebu City and Cebu Province. (JJL)