Friday, October 22, 2021

Davao City to still require RT-PCR test for vaccinated persons

Photo from Davao CIO

THE Davao City Government will still require a negative Covid-19 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result from persons entering the city even if they have been fully vaccinated, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said.

"Ang kanang testing sa mga intended na i-test, dili siya i-stop bisan naka-receive naka og two doses sa vaccine because posible gihapon ka matakdan, although mild na lang or asymptomatic, posible gihapon ka makatakdan sa Covid-19 (Our testing will not be stopped even if you are able to receive two doses of vaccine because there is a chance that you would still be infected with Covid-19, although you will experience mild symptoms or you’ll be asymptomatic)," Duterte-Carpio said.

This comes after the Zamboanga City Government announced that it will no longer require a negative RT-PCR test to those coming in the city.

The City Government reimposed the mandatory RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours to individuals entering the city through Francisco Bangoy International Airport, also known as Davao International Airport (DIA).

The test-before-travel requirement for all Davao-bound flight passengers is in accordance with City Ordinance 0477-21, Series of 2021, or an ordinance providing for mandatory testing before entry into the city via Davao Airport.

The mayor said in a previous interview that there is a need to reimpose the mandatory RT-PCR test to all traveling to the city as a prevention against a possible "second wave" surge of Covid-19, highly attributed to the air travel from high risk areas.

Davao City Health Office Acting Head Dr. Ashley Lopez also said in a recent radio interview that RT-PCR test will be required of all travelers, regardless if he or she is vaccinated or not.

"Receiving a vaccine is not a guarantee nga dili naka magka-Covid-infection (that you won’t be infected with Covid-19.) Remember ang indication sa (the indication of a) vaccine is to lower down the mobility or i-less ang severity sa (to lessen the severity of the (infection, and need to acquire herd immunity," Lopez said.

He said there have been recorded cases of those vaccinated who still tested positive for coronavirus.

Lopez recently said that requiring RT-PCR from air travelers is a preventive measure against the possible widespread transmission of the new Covid-19 variants, which are highly infectious compared to the ancestral variant.

Meanwhile, the City Government said proof of vaccination should not be required for employment, continued employment, or as a condition for enrolment in schools.

"The Davao City Government informs all Dabawenyos that procurement and access to Covid-19 vaccines by private companies should not be used as a requirement for employment nor continued employment of their current workers, as well as a condition for enrollment in schools for students," Duterte-Carpio said.

While the national government has already given the private sector the green light to buy their own vaccines, the mayor said requiring employees or students to pay for these vaccines or collecting any other fees relating to the same is also highly questionable.

Duterte-Carpio said the City Government has brought this issue to the Department of Health for clarification.


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