Labella firm on keeping RT-PCR tests
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella on Monday, March 1, stood by with his decision to keep real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results as a requirement for travelers bound for Cebu City.
With this, Labella said he might no longer issue a new executive order (EO) to ensure that the city’s existing health protocols were in line with those from the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force.
He cited several factors as to why he decided to sustain the city’s protocols for inbound travelers.
These included the continued rise of new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases here.
“I would rather require (RT-PCR) test results and to protect the health of our people in the City of Cebu. Because it is really a hub, a place where people converge from different islands in the Visayas and in Northern Mindanao. So (it is) better (to be) careful than (to be) sorry later on,” Labella added.
Last week, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) allowed local governments to do away with RT-PCR test results as requirement for incoming travelers.
It was a bid to revive the country’s ailing economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from keeping RT-PCR as pre-requisite for entry in Cebu City, the city government also decided to continue with quarantine passes (QPass) as requirement for residents when going outside of their houses.
Cebu City’s modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) has been extended until March 31.
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