Cebu City eyes return of swab test for travelers from NCR
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Due to the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in the country’s capital, the Cebu City Government is mulling the return of negative RT-PCR tests as a requirement for travelers coming from there.
Mayor Michael Rama, in a press briefing on Monday, January 3, said they are studying the possibility of reimposing swab tests as a requirement for Cebu City-bound passengers from the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Definitely, we just have to follow the scientific (way)… Because dili man gud guaranteed ang fully vaccinated, matakdan lang gihapon… So therefore, tingali ato sad tan-awon whether RT-PCR will be a requirement or whatever other requirement that may bring certain level of comfort for Cebu City,” Rama said.
The mayor on Monday also said the city is closely monitoring the recent surge of COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila, which health officials suspect is caused by the transmission of the Omicron variant.
The variant, first reported in South Africa, is believed to be more transmissible than the previously dreaded Delta variant.
No confirmed case of the Omicron variant has been detected in Cebu yet.
“Now comes this Omicron variant that has already disturbed the National Capital Region and some parts of our country. Though with mitigating measures in place, our ports are open; thus, chances are this variant might find its way to our city,” said Rama.
“That said, let us keep our vigilance. There should be no let-up to ensure that we and our loved ones are protected. Our we are still in uncertain times, never let your guard down. Practice already proven health protocols, as wearing face masks and keeping yourselves at a reasonable distance from another,” he added.
Rama is also planning to meet with local chief executives from the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and Cebu province to discuss a “unified approach” in responding to the Omicron variant.
“We have to be very strict… because we cannot also be telling very strict for Lapu-Lapu likewise for Mandaue and the whole the island… Importante sad kaayo nga kaming tulo could also meet but would be very good if the Governor (Gwendolyn Garcia) can take the lead of bringing and then unanimity of one peculiarity on another because lain-lain man ta og situation,” Rama explained.
On the other hand, the mayor urged unvaccinated individuals to get inoculated while the Omicron is not yet present here.
“Sa mga wala pa maka-bakuna, kanus-a pa man ka mopa-rehistro ug magpa-bakuna? Kana na’ng nataptan na ka ug naglisud na ka’g ginhawa? Tataw na nato nga ang mga bakunado protektado. Mataptan man, dili ra magkalisud,” Rama said.
Metro Manila was reverted to Alert Level 3 due to the rapid increase of new COVID-19 cases there.
Cebu City, for its part, remained under Alert Level 2.
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