IATF approves mandatory 5th-day testing for inbound travelers
Marje Pelayo • January 27, 2021 • 334
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) issued a resolution on Wednesday (January 27) allowing the mandatory 5th-day test for inbound travelers.
This means all travelers arriving in the Philippines must wait for five days in isolation before they are tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in line with the recommendation by the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH believes such a measure is more effective in detecting and determining if a traveler is a COVID-19 carrier or not.
“For efficiency, for government and also to be more rational in doing things, atin pong ginawa ito. Pero kung sila ay may nararamdaman na o di kaya ay may high suspicion. Meron siyang sakit na ito, siya po ay kailangang i-test,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
DOH said it is important for each traveller to be isolated to prevent potential transmission of the virus while they are waiting for their turn to be tested.
“Pero ang kailangan natin maintindihan, iyong ating prinsipyo na isolation first, as long as we isolate them even though they are positive we are assured na naco-confine lang doon sa kwartong yun ang sakit at hindi po makakapanghawa kaya isa rin po iyan na nakalagay sa ating resolution na kailangan walang cohorting,” Vergeire said.
Once they are tested negative, they will be endorsed to their respective local government units and serve the 14-day mandatory quarantine period in their areas of destination.
The new testing and quarantine protocols aim at preventing further spread of the more contagious UK variant and possible entry of other variants of COVID-19 into the country.
Meanwhile, based on DOH’s update over 600 individuals who have close contacts with the 13 UK variant positive cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region have been identified.
Also, the DOH has identified a number of returning overseas Filipino workers who arrived in the region and has been waiting for the result of their tests whether they are positive or negative of COVID-19.
“Contacts na nakita na po nila. First, second and third-generation contacts,” Vergeire said,
“Also, nakapagusap na rin po sila. They have reviewed itong triaging system ng CAR. Nakakita na rin sila ng 8 na OFWs na bumalik po sa bansa at pumasok po dito sa lugar na ito,” she added.
Still, the DOH maintained that it is early to declare the situation in the region as community transmission. –MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines—More frontliners in the city of Manila have pre-registered for the city’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said that the number of registrants increased from the initial 200 to 1,900 on Monday when the government launched its vaccination drive.
This is almost half of the total number of medical frontliners in six government hospitals in the city.
“Maraming na-inspire na mga doctor at nurses. So, umakyat ng 1,900 ang aming nagparehistro. So, kaya ang payo ko, don’t miss the opportunity. Ang pinakamabisang bakuna ay ang bakunang nasa braso mo (A lot of doctors and nurses were inspired so 1,900 registered. My advice is to not miss the opportunity. The most effective vaccine is the vaccine injected in your arm),“ he said.
Domagoso assured vaccine registrants they can still choose the brand of vaccine they want to receive.
An initial 3,000 Sinovac vaccine vials have been delivered to Manila City which will be administered to 1,500 individuals. The city government aims to vaccinate one of the two doses within the week.
Meanwhile, Domagoso said he is waiting for a proper clearance before getting vaccinated as policy states that medical frontliners are the priority for the COVID-19 vaccines. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has recorded six new cases of the B.1.351 variant (South Africa variant) of COVID-19; 30 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 variant (UK variant) and 2 cases additional cases with mutations of interest.
An official statement issued by the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said, the new cases were among 8th batch of 350 samples sequenced by the UP-Philippine Genome Center.
Of the six South African variant cases, three are local cases, two are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and one case is still being verified as to location.
The three local cases were reported as residents of Pasay City. Meanwhile, the two returning overseas Filipinos arrived in the country from UAE and Qatar; their statuses are currently being verified. Moreover, the DOH is currently verifying if the sixth case is a local case or an imported case.
“To date, there are already 48 countries with reported cases of the B.1.351 variant. While there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease, the pattern of mutations within this variant suggests higher transmissibility and may have an impact on vaccine efficacy,” DOH said.
Meanwhile, of the 30 new cases of the UK variant 20 of these are ROFs; three are local cases, and seven are currently being verified if these are local cases or ROFs.
The 20 detected ROFs entered the country from the Middle East, Singapore, and the United States of America between January 20 and February 16, 2021. Thirteen (13) of these are asymptomatic active cases, while seven have now recovered.
On the other hand, the three (3) local B.1.1.7 variant cases are from the Cordillera Administrative Region.
One case is currently active and is admitted to a hospital, one has recovered, and one is a reported fatality. The relation of the 3 local cases to previously reported B.1.1.7 variant cases in the region is currently being investigated.
On the cases with mutations of interest, the latest sequencing results showed that two (2) additional samples from Region 7 were found to have both N501Y and E484K mutations.
The DOH reiterated that despite the arrival of the vaccines in the country, adherence to minimum public health standards is still the best course of action to prevent community transmission and further virus mutations.
MANILA, Philippines – San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora confirmed on Monday that he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a Facebook post, Zamora said he is currently under quarantine at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
“I would like to announce that I have tested positive with COVID-19. My results came out today after a routine swab test yesterday evening, February 28, 2021. A confirmatory test was done today and the results turned out to be positive,” he said.
“I have decided to quarantine myself in Cardinal Santos Medical Center to ensure that I do not transmit the virus to anyone else in the community and to protect everyone around me including my children and my wife who is a cancer survivor,” he added.
I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am asymptomatic and in good physical condition. I have decided to quarantine…
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