Paggamit ng rapid antigen testing sa local air travelers, pinayagan ng IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2020   •   231

MANILA, Philippines – Pinayagan na ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ang paggamit ng rapid antigen test bilang pre-boarding requirement ng domestic air travelers.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, bahagi ito ng pagpapaigting ng laban kontra novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at pagpapabilis sa pag-detect kung may SARS-CoV2, ang virus na nagdudulot ng COVID-19, ang isang pasahero.

Ang hakbang aniya ay nakasaad sa IATF Resolution No. 70 na ibinatay sa rekomendasyon ng Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Una nang inaprubahan ng IATF ang paggamit ng antigen test bilang pre-boarding at arrival requirement ng domestic air travelers bilang susbstitute ng real time na reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

“Ang paggamit ng antigen test bilang kapalit ng RT-PCR test ay pinapayagan sa kundisyon na ito ay, una, pre-boarding requirement ng domestic tourists na asymptomatic bago umalis at magtungo sa kanilang travel destinations; pangalawa, isang requirement bago makapasok sa place of destination kung sang-ayon sa protocols ng lokal na pamahalaan, provided na magsasagawa ng confirmatory antigen test, tatlo hanggang limang araw pagkatapos,” ang wika ni Roque

Ang rapid antigen test ay karaniwang ginagamit sa diagnosis ng respiratory pathogens at ginagawa ito sa pamamagitan ng pagsusuri sa samples na nakulekta mula sa nasal swab. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Philippines to allow entry to foreigners with investor visas starting Nov. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign nationals with investors visa will soon be allowed to enter the Philippines, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Thursday allowed the entry of foreigners starting November 1.

“These foreign nationals include those with visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No. 226, or the Omnibus Investments Code, as amended, and Republic Act. No. 8756; those with 47(a)(2) visas issued by the Department of Justice; and those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority,” Roque said in a statement.

The Palace official, however, stressed that the entry of these foreigners to the country is subject to conditions.

“(T)hey must have valid and existing visa at the time of the entry and must likewise have a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility,” Roque said.

“In addition, they must be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry and must follow applicable immigration laws, rules and regulations,” he added.

The government earlier said it will be easing travel restrictions to help the country’s economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The Philippines imposed travel restrictions in February to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease.

IATF OKs face-to-face skills training for OFWs in some areas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force on COVID-19 pandemic response has allowed, in some areas, the in-person technical skills training and assessments for outbound overseas Filipino workers (OFW), Malacañang said Friday.

Citing Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 78, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said face-to-face training and assessments by Technical Vocational Institutions and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for outbound OFWs will now be permitted in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.

Roque, however, noted that this will still be subject to compliance with TESDA guidelines and minimum public health standards.

“This forms part of our assistance to workers who already have employment opportunities. These include trainings and assessments for domestic work, caregiver, housekeeping qualifications and ship’s catering,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, dive establishment in specific areas under GCQ and modified GCQ such as Batangas and other areas identified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) “may accept recreational divers as guests, who are from areas under GCQ and lower.”

Roque said the DOT shall issue necessary guidelines in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, local government units.

The Palace official further stated that the IATF has directed its sub-technical working groups on data analytics and anticipatory and forward planning to “formulate unified recommendations concerning guidelines applicable to areas that may eventually be placed under the new normal.”

Roque said this is aligned to the proposed National Action Plan Phase III of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

“The meeting will be composed of health expert panels from the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group, the Health Care Professionals’ Alliance Against COVID-19 as well as economic experts to balance health and economy,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DILG wants uniform prices for COVID-19 RT-PCR test

Robie de Guzman   •   October 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is pushing for a standard price for the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab test for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement on Friday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the RT-PCR test should be made affordable by lowering and standardizing its price so more people can avail themselves of the swab test.

Mas marami ang mabibigyan ng pagkakataong magpa-swab test kung pare-pareho ang presyo nito sa mga pribado at gobyernong ospital,” Año said.

(Everyone should be given the chance to have a swab test by standardizing its price both in private and government hospitals.)

Iyan ang isang mabisang paraan para mapigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 virus,” he added.

(That’s one of the best options to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus.)

The Department of Health earlier said the cost of RT-PCR tests ranged from P4,000 to P13,000 in public and private molecular laboratories.

Año said this price range is “way above the purchasing power of ordinary Filipinos.”

He noted that instead of taking the test, most Filipinos would rather spend their money to buy food and other necessities and follow the minimum health protocols to prevent contamination.

“Sana, pantay rin ang presyo ng swab tests sa mga pampubliko at pribadong hospital,” he added.

The RT-PCR is the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. While there are cheaper rapid tests in the market, Año said these tests are said to be inconclusive.


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