Cebu City EOC pushes for antigen, RT-PCR tests for inbound sea travelers

By: Mae Fhel Gom-os - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 21,2021 - 09:50 PM
Cebu City Councilor Joel Gargarnera, EOC deputy chief implementor of Cebu City, says the EOC will be recommending that inbound sea passengers should have an antigen test prior to their departure. | Screen grab of Councilor Joel Garganera video (file photo)

Councilor Joel Gargarnera, EOC deputy chief implementor of Cebu City, says the EOC will be recommending that inbound sea passengers should have an antigen test prior to their departure. | Screen grab of Councilor Joel Garganera video (file photo)

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Due to the rising COVID-19 cases noted in the neighboring provinces, all inbound passengers whether for Cebu City or Cebu Province, as long as they go through the seaport in Cebu City, might be required to show either a negative Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) or Antigen test prior to their departure.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, city’s Emergency Operations (EOC) deputy chief implementer, on Monday, June 21, said they would be endorsing to the Office of the Mayor and Acting Mayor Michael Rama, regarding the adopting of the Antigen test.

He said other provinces aside from Bohol and Negros Oriental, where cases were rising, included also Leyte, Cagayan de Oro and Ormoc City.

“We are endorsing today to the office of the mayor, and the acting mayor regarding the adoption of antigen test dili lang kay RT-PCR test. So once that it will be approved, then it will encompass all inbound passengers whether you’re from Cebu or province, basta moagi mo sa city seaports, we are requiring you to comply,” said Garganera.

He emphasized that such recommendation was a precautionary measure for possible transmission, considering that cases were rising in the neighboring provinces based on what they had seen on their daily reported positive cases.

He also stressed that it would take some time for a local government unit (LGU) to declare a much stricter quarantine status.

“Kay kon mag declare gud ang usa ka LGU into a much stricter quarantine status, it will take time. Sometimes, mo deklarar na sila after 15 days, after 30 days, so nakita man gyud nato ang daily basis nga report sa ilang positive cases,” he said, adding that they already discussed with the doctors and consultants that Antigen test is accepted.

(If the LGU will declare for a stricter quarantine status, it will take time. Sometimes, they will declare after 15 days, after 30 days, so we saw the daily basis of the report of positive cases.)

He further said that they would also convene with the different stakeholders in the port area, including the shipping lines, Coast Guard, and MARINA should it will be approved.

“And the og pananglitan og moabot mo diri nga walay necessary tests, we will be forced nga ipabalik mo og asa mo dapita (naggikan), nganong naabot man mo diri,” said Garganera, adding that they would be barred from disembarking the boat.

(And if for example you will arrive here without the necessary tests, then we will be forced to let you return to where you departed. Why did you arrive here [without the necessary tests]?)

The EOC noted a slight increase of daily cases in the city starting May 18 this year; however, Garganera said there was nothing to worry about as they were on top of the situation.

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TAGS: antigen test, bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu City, EOC, Garganera, inbound passengers, inbound sea passengers, Leyte, Nature's Spring Philippines-Ormoc City, Negros, RT-PCR test

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