The city government will continue to accept locally stranded individuals (LSIs) as long as there are available facilities to shelter them.
This was assured by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas in his regular press conference on Monday as he announced that 72 LSIs, who are city residents, arrived via plane at 11:30 a.m. and another 48 LSIs at 8 p.m. via St. Michael the Archangel of 2GO shipping.
The special trips were arranged by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).
He said the city will be overwhelmed if the arrivals will continue given that it has only 500 beds available for quarantine facilities. However, he said the local government is hoping that the results of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test will be fast-tracked.
“As soon as the results are out, they will be sent home,” the mayor said.
He added that other LSIs opted to stay in a hotel, at their own expense, where they are more comfortable.
Further, there are LSIs who chose to have their swab test taken at the Qualimed Hospital, to make sure they get their results faster.
A situation report by the city operations center showed that as of July 18, there were 28 LSIs, one overseas Filipino worker, two authorized persons outside of the residence, and 14 personnel of the AC Energy Corporation who arrived in the city.
As of July 19, there were 120 returning overseas Filipino workers (ROFs) occupying various hotels in the city from out of the 558 ROFs who were assisted by the local government here.
Meantime, the mayor has received a positive response from Secretary Carlito Galvez, the chief implementer of the national Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), on his request to set up a “one-stop-shop laboratory” at the Iloilo International Airport.
“It’s not a machine, it’s a one-stop-shop, which will include all the machines: PCR machine, RNA extraction machine,” Treñas said.
He added that once the talk is formalized, he will be sitting down with the management of the airport regarding the staffing component. “If needed, we are ready to help out in the staffing,” he said.
The mayor said what is important is once the visitors arrived at the airport, they will be swabbed and the result will be released the earliest possible time. (PNA)