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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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More NegOr OFWs return


Sixteen overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who arrived in Dumaguete City yesterday from Manila will be subjected to another round of screening for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as part of the province’s precautionary measures.

Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, who heads the health committee of the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said the OFWs had already tested negative of the coronavirus, based on results of the reverse transmission-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests done before they departed from Manila.

But as part of the provincial government’s guidelines for returning residents of Negros Oriental, they will be subject to quarantine upon arrival and will undergo another RT-PCR test, Estacion said.

Throat swab samples will be taken from them after they have settled down at a hotel and sent to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City for testing, she said.

The repatriated OFWs from different towns and cities in Negros Oriental, arrived on board the St. Francis Xavier, a 2GO vessel from Manila, which docked at the city port after midnight on Monday.

However, the disembarkation of the OFWs was delayed for hours as final arrangements had yet to be made with a hotel where they would be quarantined, Estacion said.

Lt. Senior Grade Donna Lizza Duran Ramacho, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard Station here, said her personnel, together with other uniformed services such as the police, were at the city port to ensure that nobody disembarks from the vessel without the go-signal from health authorities.

The OFWs disembarked at around 6 a.m. yesterday and went through the process of documentation and inspection by her staff from the Provincial Health Office, said Estacion, who was also at the port to receive them.

Meanwhile, Estacion said the Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA) has promised to shoulder the hotel and food allowances of the repatriated OFWs.

Police personnel are guarding the hotel in the city where they are staying to ensure that they do not leave the premises and roam around without prior notice to authorities, she added.*PNA


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