5 repatriated OFWs in Iloilo test positive for Covid-19

5 repatriated OFWs in Iloilo test positive for Covid-19
COVID-19-POSITIVE. Photo shows the repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who arrived in Iloilo City on April 29. The Department of Health-Center for Health Development-6 (Western Visayas) on Saturday (May 2, 2020) confirmed that five of the 175 repatriated OFWs tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY – Five repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Iloilo tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) 6 (Western Visayas) said on Saturday.

In a virtual presser, Dr. May Ann Soliva-Sta. Lucia, DOH-CHD health promotion head, said the OFWs, along with a positive retest, brought the total Covid-19 cases in the region to 72.

The new cases include two 30-year-old males, a 27-year-old male, and a 29-year-old male, all from the city, and a 27-year-old male from Buenavista, Guimaras.

Soliva-Sta. Lucia said all of the Covid-19 positive OFWs are under facility quarantine.

They were part of the 226 stranded OFWs transported by 2GO shipping, 51 of whom disembarked in Bacolod port on April 28 while 175 at the Fort San Pedro in Iloilo City on April 29.

Aside from the OFWs, a 28-year-old female from Jaro district also tested positive for the virus.

“These are per the laboratory result released on May 2 at 1 p.m. Total laboratory results released are 247,” she said.

She said part of the procedure on the repatriation requires all departing OFWs from ports of exit to comply to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, should have completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine and should be asymptomatic upon disembarkation.

Those who secured the quarantine clearance and the medical certification should be allowed to travel.

“Upon disembarkation, these documents were checked by assigned DOH and OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) personnel and it was agreed in the meeting last Monday that all arriving repatriates should undergo the RT-PCR since there was no exact communication as to the results of the repatriates’ Covid-19 tests,” she said.

OWWA and other concerned agencies are responsible for the needs of the OFWs until they are cleared to be sent home while “the local government units are given ample time to prepare their isolation facility and the transportation support (of the repatriates),” Soliva-Sta. Lucia

She assured they will be closely monitoring the RT-PCR test results of the remaining repatriates.— By Gail Momblan / (PNA)

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