Labella orders probe on Cebu City students who tested positive of COVID-19 in Maguindanao
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants to know how 12 students from Cebu City were able to go home to their hometown in Maguindanao without being tested for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This after the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the students, who were given a certification to travel and were able to leave Cebu City for Cagayan de Oro, where they were fetched to be brought to Maguindanao, all proved positive to the virus when tested in the province in Mindanao.
The students were asymptomatic and they were not allowed to go home but were directly sent to an isolation facility near the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital.
Cebu City spokesperson Rey Gealon said on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 that the city government has received reports that the students were able to leave Cebu City without being tested.
“Atong klarohon nga ang Cebu City nagsubay gyod sa reglamento sa Interagency Task Force. Ang pagbiyahe sa mga estudyante man o kinsa tong gitugutan mobiyahe kinahanglan mocomply sa mga requisitos,” said Gealon.
(We would like to clarify that Cebu City is following all guidelines of the Interagency Task Force. Those who travel, may they be students or other individuals who are allowed to, have to follow the requirements.)
Gealon said one of these requirements is for the traveler to undergo a test, prove negative to the virus, and complete a 14-day quarantine.
Before the city government releases a certification allowing the individual to travel, the port of arrival or the traveler’s destination must issue an entry clearance first.
Only after this that the city can release the exit clearances for the traveler.
This guideline has recently been amended by the IATF as the police will now be the ones to release the clearances. However, the 12 students should have been covered by the original guidelines.
With this, Labella has ordered an investigation on how the students were able to leave the city without being tested.
“Of course we also need to verify the identities of the students and if they really came from Cebu City or really proved positive to the virus,” said Gealon.
The city is now coordinating with officials of Maguindanao on tracing where the students lived in Cebu City and how they acquired the virus. /rcg
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