THE Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the Department of Health (DOH) recommendation to swab international passengers on the seventh day from their arrival in the Philippines.
In a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there will be no more tests upon arrival.
"The IATF has approved our recommendation to have the 7th day testing...No testing upon arrival but on the seventh day," said Vergeire.
International travelers are also required to spend 10 days of quarantine in a facility. For the remaining four days of quarantine, the local government units will ensure compliance.
Vergeire said conducting the swab test on the seventh day will increase the accuracy of detecting the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
"This is a process that will help us make sure that upon arrival of travelers, especially Filipinos, we can isolate them properly and break the chain of transmission," she said.
She previously cited studies that show the viral load is at its highest on the seventh and eighth day of incubation.
Vergeire said the new protocol will take effect as soon as the guidelines are released by concerned agencies.
"All concerned agencies have already agreed to implement this protocol at the soonest time possible," said Vergeire. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)