9 more repatriated OFWs test positive for COVID-19

DOH - 7 says additional tests needed

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 02,2020 - 08:32 AM
LOOK: Some of the repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) start to disembark from the MV St. Michael The Archangel, the vessel that has brought them from Manila, where they have been stranded for about a month. The OFWs arrived early this morning (April 28, 2020) at Pier 6 of the Cebu City port. | Alven Marie A. Timtim and Rosalie O. Abatayo

Repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were stranded in Manila for about a month arrive at Pier 6 in Cebu City in this April 28, 2020 file photo.  | CDND File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Nine more repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Central Visayas tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This now brings to a total of 14 the number of virus-infected OFWs who arrived in Cebu on April 28, according to data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).

However, DOH is yet to provide data as to the specific addresses of the nine OFWs.  On Friday, five others from Cebu province tested positive for COVID-19.

Read: 5 repatriated Cebuano OFWs positive of COVID-19

The nine were among the 220 OFWs who arrived from Manila last April 28.  They all remain under isolation in hotels in Cebu City as of today, May 2, 2020.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH -7 director, has made a recommendation for all the repatriated OFWs to undergo further laboratory tests before they should be allowed to go home to their families.

“Additional laboratory tests such as testing for the presence of antibodies may tell us if the latest positive results are active infections or previous exposures,” Bernadas said in a press release issued to the Cebu media Friday night.

According to DOH – 7, antibodies either appear during the infection (IgM) or upon recovery (IgG).

“The presence of either of the two will tell us if the infection is an active one or in the case of IgG, is of previous exposure and therefore the positive RT-PCR result could be possibly viral remnants of a previous infection,” Bernadas said.

A total of 328 repatriated OFWs were sent to the different provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao on April 28 after being stranded in Metro Manila for at least one month.

Of these, 291 were sent back to their respective provinces in Central Visayas. Of the number, 220 are Cebuanos, 47 Boholanons while 24 others were from Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

The 220 who arrived in Cebu were immediately transported to their respective hotels that will serve as their isolation facilities for 14 days.

Before being cleared to travel outside Metro Manila, all repatriated OFWs were subjected to rapid COVID-19 tests which the DOH central office and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) warned could yield false-negative results.

Upon arrival here, the OFWs were made to undergo swab testing as part of Cebu’s precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19. / dcb

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TAGS: COVID-19, DOH-7, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, OFWs from Manila, repatriated OFWs

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