Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Molecular labs told to prioritize swabs of incoming passengers

BACOLOD. Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz. (File photo)

PROVINCIAL Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said they have ordered the provincial-run molecular laboratories to prioritize the swab samples of all incoming passengers coming from airports and seaports as the travel moratorium in Western Visayas was lifted Tuesday, April 20.

Diaz said provincial-run molecular laboratories must release the results of the RT-PCR tests within 24 hours only, prompting medical technicians to work round the clock.

The local government units (LGUs), meanwhile, are requesting if they could be the one to pick up the passengers to ensure proper monitoring and turnover.

Diaz said they need to simplify the logistical challenges of contact tracing by picking the passengers at the point of entry.

The Provincial Government advised travelers who have expired 72-hour RT-PCR tests to no longer get another test and instead submit themselves for a free swab test upon their arrival in the province, adding they will still accept them.

Diaz advised travelers to voluntarily agree for a swab test, pointing that it is not just for their own safety, but for their families as well.

"We have to do this, otherwise no matter our efforts in contact tracing, identify, test, and cure this problem will not end if we don't screen passengers," Diaz said.

Earlier, the Provincial Incident Management Team (PIMT) of Negros Occidental reminded returning Negrenses and authorized person outside residence (Apors) that they are required to submit themselves for RT-PCR test and 24-hour quarantine if they have expired test results upon arrival.

Zephard Caelian, PIMT head, made the emphasis as the province reopened its airports and seaports to passenger traffic following the expiry of the travel moratorium.

Caelian said the province will observe Resolution 101 of the National Inter-Agency Task Force, which only required a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours before travel.

Caelian reiterated that S-Pass and Stay Safe apps are required for travelers.


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