About 14% of arriving OFWs test positive for COVID-19 –BOQ

By JAMIL SANTOS, GMA News

About 10 to 14 percent of arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were testing positive for COVID-19, the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) said Saturday.

“Sa ngayon ang average per day na arrivals, ‘yung capacity natin is 3,000. Ang nagpa-positive everyday is close to 300. So approximately 10% to 14% ang nagpa-positive sa arrivals nating mga Pilipino,” BOQ Deputy Director Dr. Roberto Salvador Jr. said at the Laging Handa briefing.

(At present, the average per day of arrivals, our capacity is at 3,000. Those who test positive each day is close to 300. Approximately 10% to 14% of arriving Filipinos are testing positive.)

Salvador said the BOC received at least 300 RT-PCR results of arriving OFWs per day.

He added that a large number of arrivals that tested positive for COVID-19 was observed during the second to third week of December last year. Thus, many OFWs were stuck in quarantine hotels due to a lack of isolation facilities up to the second week of January this year.

However, the government started to open mandatory isolation facilities so those who tested positive in quarantine facilities could be transferred.

Salvador said about 3,300 OFWs had completed their isolation and were released from their quarantine hotels last week.

Malacañang said Friday that returning Filipinos recovering from COVID-19 would be allowed entry to the country, provided they are not infectious and several other conditions.

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution 158, Filipino passengers who have recently recovered from COVID-19 but tested positive in the required pre-departure RT-PCR test may be allowed entry into the country subject to the following conditions:

  • a positive RT-PCR test taken within forty-eight hours (48 hrs) before the date/time of departure from country/port of origin;
  • the traveler has a medical certificate issued by a licensed physician stating that the traveler has completed the mandatory isolation period, is no longer infectious, and has been allowed free movement/travel; and
  • a positive RT-PCR test taken not earlier than 10 days but not later than 30 days before the date/time of departure from the country/port of origin.

However, these non-infectious, COVID-19 recovering Filipinos were still required to quarantine at a facility based on their COVID-19 vaccination status and the classification of the country/territory/jurisdiction of origin. — DVM, GMA News

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