Rizal Memorial Sports Complex closed for disinfection after last batch of LSI leaves

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2020   •   272

MANILA, Philippines – The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, where thousands of locally-stranded individuals (LSI) stayed last week, has been closed for disinfection after the last batch of stranded persons was sent to their respective provinces.

The sports complex, which sheltered about 6,500 LSIs waiting for government-sponsored trips to their regions, will be closed for a day to undergo decontamination beginning Thursday morning to ensure that it is free from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The facility includes the baseball and track stadiums.

Those working in and around the sports complex, including the employees of the Philippine Sports Commission and the Manila Department of Public Services were also evacuated.

The organizer of government’s Hatid-Tulong program said the last batch of stranded passengers comprised of 1,017 individuals have left the area early Thursday to board a ship bound for the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Since Saturday, more than 6,000 stranded individuals have been sent home through the program.

However, 48 were unable to go on their trip after they tested positive in rapid tests conducted as part of the processing of passengers.

They have been placed at quarantine centers in Manila as they await the results of their swab tests.

LSIs urged to coordinate with LGUs before going to send-off areas

Robie de Guzman   •   September 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Organizers of the government’s Hatid-Tulong program on Friday renewed its call on people who are hoping to return to their provinces to coordinate with their local government units first and only go to the send-off areas when they are scheduled for a trip.

Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo, lead convenor of the Hatid Tulong Program, made the appeal following reports that more than 430 locally-stranded individuals (LSI) are still outside the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

It was earlier reported that some of the LSIs already had tickets but their trip was canceled due to the pandemic, while others lost their job and wanted to return to their respective provinces.

Encabo said they are now looking for temporary shelters for the stranded individuals who are camped outside the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“Kapag nakakita na po kami ng tamang lugar para po gawing temporary shelter ay bibigyan naman namin sila ng pagkakataon na makaavail nun,” he said.

Aside from government agencies, the team is also coordinating with the private sector for the distribution of hygiene kits and food for the stranded persons.

Encabo reminded the LSIs not to go to send-off areas when they have not received any call or advisory for their schedule for a trip home to avoid being stranded.

“Halibawa, kung ang mga indibidwal na pauwi ng Zamboanga at ang schedule pa po ay pauwing Caraga, ay definitely talagang mapag-iwanan sila sa lugar na kanilang pinuntahan. At magkakaroon sila o makakaranas po sila ng problema sa temporary shelter,” he explained.

He said the government will soon implement a clustered send-off to ensure that health protocols such as physical distancing are strictly observed during the trip.

“Kung alin po sa mga rehiyon o mga probinsya na nagpapahiwatig na handa na po silang tumanggap ng LSIs nila ay yun din ang una naming papauwiin,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Locally-stranded individuals, hindi muna makakapasok sa Bulacan habang naka-MECQ – LGU

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2020

Inanunsyo ngayong Martes ng Bulacan provincial government na hindi muna papayagang makapasok ang mga uuwing locally-stranded individuals (LSI) habang nasa ilalim ng modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) ang lalawigan.

Ayon kay Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando, layon ng hakbang na higpitan ang paglabas-masok ng mga tao sa Bulacan at Metro Manila nang mapigilan ang lalo pang pagkalat ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“No LSI muna na manggagaling sa ibang lugar, lahat ng papasok sa main, hindi muna namin tatangapin habang naka-MECQ tayo. Yung papasok ng Maynila talagang hihigpitan namin ang pagbabantay,” ani Fernando.

Bilang bahagi ng hakbanging ito, naglagay na ng checkpoint ang Bulacan Police sa entry at exit points ng lalawigan pati na sa mga daanang papunta at pabalik ng North Luzon Expressway at Metro Manila.

Ayon kay Bulacan Provincial Police director PCol. Lawrence Cajipe, dadaan sa inspeksyon ang mga sasakyan upang matiyak na authorized person outside residence (APOR), medical at iba pang essential workers lang ang bumibiyahe.

“Kung hindi sila APOR, huwag na nilang pilitin palabas. Madedelay lang sila pagmumulan lang ng tensyon, kung di naman medical emergency huwag nang lumabas,” ani Cajipe.

Paalala rin ng mga otoridad, suspendido sa ngayon ang biyahe ng mga pampasaherong bus, jeep at iba pang pampublikong sasakyan.

Epektibo rin ang curfew hours sa lalawigan mula alas-otso ng gabi hanggang ala-singko ng umaga. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Nestor Torres)

Davao City gov’t intercepts LSIs allegedly trying to skirt protocols vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 31, 2020

Locally-stranded individuals (LSI) allegedly attempting to enter Davao City using a different airport or via land travels to avoid cumbersome protocols against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been intercepted by the Task Force Davao (TFD), the city government said.

In a statement, the city government said that as of July 28, Tuesday, the TFD reported having intercepted a total of 175 LSIs at the city’s three major entry points – Lasang, Sirawan, and Lacson.

TFD commander Colonel Consolito Yecla said that of this figure, at least 87 were residents of Davao City while the remaining 88 were just passing by for their destination provinces.

“Those who are residents of the city were escorted to the testing center for their swab tests while the non-residents were escorted toward the boundaries,” he said.

“We escorted them to the boundaries to ensure that they will not make a stop in the city, we treat everyone as a carrier so it will be vital if they make a stop,” he added.

On Wednesday the TFD also intercepted a person who failed the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) in Trento, Agusan del Sur.

The patient was immediately brought to the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC).

Some LSIs are allegedly trying to skirt an earlier order of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, requiring those entering the city to provide negative results of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) taken at least 72 hours before boarding their flights.

The order was later modified and testing is now being done as plane passengers leave the Davao International Airport.

Contract tracing was among the main issues in the past when LSIs tested positive for the disease.

With the exit testing, contact tracing will now be easier, the city government said.

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