REPATRIATED overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who returned to Davao City and tested positive for the Covid-19 virus rose to 13 after three new cases were recorded.
Airport Monitoring Team Head Generose Tecson said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio Friday, July 30, three of the cases were passengers from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and 10 were from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Tecson said individuals who tested positive were immediately transferred to the tent city at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) for additional 14-day mandatory isolation. Those who tested negative need to undergo another seven days of quarantine.
"Kay ayaw natin na mahalo sila sa ating mga locals (we don’t want to mix them with our locals)," she said.
This comes days after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio confirmed that 10 repatriated OFWs tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.
A total of 138 passengers from Dhaka and 359 from Dubai arrived in the city on July 15 and 18, respectively, to undergo a mandatory hotel-based quarantine.
As part of arrival protocols, the passengers were swabbed 48 hours before the flight and present negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results under City Ordinance 0477-21, Series of 2021 or the Mandatory Testing Prior to Entry into the Davao City via the Davao International Airport.
As part of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the OFWs and ROFs were required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in Davao City before proceeding to their final destinations.
In the quarantine facility, the returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) are situated on the higher floors. For instance, if the designated hotel has ten floors, only the seventh to the tenth floor shall be occupied by the ROFs.
Tecson said the OFWs from Dhaka underwent testing on July 21, and test results came out on July 23. Repatriated OFWs from Dubai, meanwhile, were tested on July 24 and their test results came out two days after.
Tecson also said the city continues to require the mandatory RT-PCR test for travelers going to the city even for fully-vaccinated Filipinos. The test results must be taken within 24 to 72 hours before scheduled arrival.
“They are screened, but it does not matter. If they come from a restricted country, then they do tho undergo a 14-day quarantine. Kahit na fully vaccinated sila. (Even if they are fully vaccinated.) Remember, even if you’re fully vaccinated, pwede ka pa rin mahawa sa Covid-19 virus (you can still contract the Covid-19 virus),” she said.
The airport monitoring head said more repatriates will arrive in the city in August this year.
Duterte-Carpio previously allayed fears of a potential surge of Covid-19 cases in the city following the recent acceptance of repatriation flights outside the country.
She assured the public that repatriated passengers will undergo a “bubble” arrival process and strict health protocols will be applied for passengers.
“They will be wrapped in a bubble, they will be wrapped in a bubble gikan sa (from the) airport padulong sa (towards their) isolation hotel, didto na buhaton ang kinahanglan pag-process sa ila (wherein they will undergo the required process for them),” Duterte-Carpio said.
The mayor emphasized the importance of the “bubble” process and strengthened health protocol for all arriving passengers.