Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has urged the Department of Health (DOH) to prioritize the processing of the confirmatory tests taken from nine repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who tested positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) during a rapid test.
“I do not know what happened but in our rapid testing, we have positive from out of the 35 OFWs from Iloilo City,” Mayor Treñas said in his regular press conference on Thursday.
Seven of the nine were from Iloilo City and two are residents of Guimaras.
“My suggestion, in the meantime that we are waiting for the (confirmatory) result of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, that we lock down the hotel where they are staying. We do not want that this will be the source of additional cases if it happens,” he said.
Treñas added that he already informed concerned governors in Western Visayas about the result because they also have OFWs who traveled together with Iloilo City and Guimaras repatriates.
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) were also informed.
The mayor also told the OCD to study what needs to be done. “I do not know what happened because there was also a rapid test that was done when they were in Manila,” he added.
The rapid test was conducted on OFWs from Iloilo City and Guimaras upon their arrival on Wednesday. Tests for those from Iloilo province were done Thursday.
They were part of the 226 stranded OFWs who were transported by 2GO shipping; 51 disembarked in Bacolod port on Tuesday and 175 at the Fort San Pedro in Iloilo City on April 29.
Those from Aklan, Capiz, and Antique were fetched by their local government units but those from the city and province of Iloilo and Guimaras were billeted in a hotel.
Meanwhile, the Western Visayas Regional Task Force Covid-19 will be looking into the matter as it acknowledged the need to polish the system of repatriation in Manila.
“They need to have additional control measures that will be taken into consideration by the regional task force,” lawyer Roy Villa, task force spokesperson, said in a media interview.
He said that at the level of the task force in Western Visayas, the system is almost in place. The task force and local governments are careful and the process is meticulous, otherwise those positive cases were undetected.
Villa said the region is only “receiving” and the presumption is that the document that they brought with them as regards their testing is “reliable”.
“It appears that their testing and the process of boarding there has a problem,” he said in an interview over Bombo Radyo.
He added that the task force will also be meeting to come up with a position concerning the next batch of OFWs Source: Philippines News Agency