Returning residents here, specifically locally-stranded individuals (LSIs), will now be required to present a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test result upon arrival in this capital city of Negros Oriental even though the province is being downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Dems Rey Demecillo, city Public Information Officer, on Thursday said this is effective July 1, after President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Negros Oriental was among the provinces downgraded to a modified general community quarantine status (MGCQ) “with strict local action”.
Demecillo said the requirement was arrived at during a meeting Tuesday of the city’s Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). The task force “unanimously passed and adopted a resolution requiring every person entering the territory of Negros Oriental (by land, sea, or air) with Dumaguete City as ultimate destination to strictly follow local health protocols by submitting a negative RT-PCR test result (released not more than 72 hours before travel), securing a Certificate of Acceptance from the City of Dumaguete and undergoing a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in a facility designated for the purpose”.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, chairperson of the City IATF-EID, said these requirements shall form part of the city’s local health protocol amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases from among those who are returning to the provinces.
Demecillo said that LSIs are now required to present a negative RT-PCR test result contrary to the previous weeks when they were only asked to show a medical certificate and travel authority.
Returning overseas Filipinos, meanwhile, have always been asked to present a negative RT-PCR test result upon arrival here.
The city IATF has clarified that there is no ban on LSIs, ROFs, and Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs) to return to Dumaguete, except those from Cebu City and Talisay City, provided they follow local health protocols and submit themselves to the mandatory 14-day quarantine, Demecillo said.
It was noted that a spike in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Negros Oriental and Dumaguete was mostly attributed to returning residents, he said.
The City Tourism Office is designated in charge of documenting the arrivals of these returning individuals, he added. (PNA)