THE Lapu-Lapu City Health Office has urged returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who arrive in the city to strictly observe the government’s quarantine protocol.
They need to isolate themselves in their homes if they are already allowed to undergo home quarantine, and they must wait for health workers to swab them on the seventh day after arriving in the city.
This was the plea by Grace Mary Carungay, the city epidemiological and surveillance unit officer, after an incident that occurred last week—an ROF was no longer at his residence when the City Health Office personnel visited her for a swab test on the seventh day.
Carungay said she is worried that an irresponsible person could expose his relatives or neighbors to the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, and he could spark a surge of new cases in the city.
On May 17, 2021, Lapu-Lapu City recorded zero new cases, and the city’s active cases still stand at 308.
The City allows its residents who are ROFs and OFWs to undergo home quarantine for 14 days after they tested negative upon their arrival in Lapu-Lapu City. But they must stay at home for the whole duration of the quarantine and wait to be swabbed on the seventh day.
The City’s new quarantine procedure slightly veers from the new protocol set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
The IATF has approved the recommendation of the Department of Health to test travelers entering the country for Covid-19 only on the seventh day of their arrival.
The reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing for Sars-CoV-2 on arriving travelers shall be conducted on the seventh day, with the first day being the day of arrival, according to IATF Resolution No. 114.
The resolution states that “all arriving travelers shall undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival,” with the first 10 days to be observed in a quarantine facility and the remainder to be completed under home quarantine in the travelers’ respective local government units of destination.
“Notwithstanding a negative test result, the arriving traveler shall complete the facility-based quarantine period of 10 days,” the resolution said.
The Department of Transportation is tasked to ascertain that swabbing is done on “exactly the seventh day” and that results are delivered on the ninth day.
The new rules apply to all inbound travelers to the Philippines regardless of their vaccination status. (GCM / KAL)