The city government on Tuesday appealed to the national government to implement tighter health screening, including testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), before allowing locally-stranded individuals (LSI) to return to their respective communities.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said it is important for LSIs, especially those coming from areas with sustained local transmission of the disease, to get mandatory Reverse transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests.
He said the measure has proven effective in curbing infections among returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), especially those earlier repatriated by the national government.
“This way we can better protect our communities from the spread of Covid-19,” he told reporters.
The mayor assured that the local government will continue to accept returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and LSIs in coordination with various agencies.
He said advance information regarding movements should be provided to ensure proper response and handling of the incoming residents.
Rivera said it will help their health workers and other front-line personnel check if the repatriates can be quarantined in their own houses.
The city government has been continually facilitating the travel of returning residents from the airports, seaports, and transport terminals.
All newly-arrived LSIs and OFWs were directly sent to designated quarantine facilities and subjected to health screening, including rapid diagnostic tests.
As of Monday, the City Health Office (CHO) said the assigned temporary quarantine areas in parts of the city are currently accommodating nearly 400 returning residents, mostly LSIs.
The mayor earlier said the local government has been paying PHP500 a day for the housing of the repatriates in local hotels, inns and pension houses.
It also provides for the food and other basic needs of the returning LSIs and OFWs, who were required to undergo 14-day strict mandatory quarantine.
CHO said the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city as of Tuesday remain at three and with two recoveries.
The lone active case, an LSI from Cebu who arrived last May 31, was still under isolation at the Covid-19 Center of the local government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital.
Source: Philippines News Agency