The Bicol Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will impose more stringent protocols on receiving returning locally stranded individuals (LSI) due to an increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
On Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol recorded 24 new cases of Covid-19, the highest number logged in a single day.
Several of those who tested positive were LSIs and passengers of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Bicol Express special train tapped for the government’s “Hatid Tulong” program.
The PNR’s train trips have accommodated some 373 Bicolanos in three batches, according to the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) regional office.
Amber Mirandilla, PMS-Bicol acting regional director, said of the total number of train passengers that arrived, 32 tested positive for coronavirus.
Mirandilla said before the LSIs were allowed to board the train at the PNR Tutuban terminal, they underwent rapid diagnostic test (RDT) while the train coaches were disinfected.
She said all LSIs also underwent another RDT upon their arrival at their respective drop-off points but some of them were found positive of Covid-19.
Before the LSIs are allowed to return home, they are still required to undergo screening and quarantine by the receiving local government units.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases recorded in Bicol Region is now 190.
The “Hatid Tulong” program is a joint undertaking of the PMS, PNR, Office of Civil Defense and the national government.
Source: Philippines News Agency