GenSan tightens monitoring of returning residents

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 May) – The city government has tightened its monitoring of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and locally-stranded individuals (LSI) after one of them tried to evade the mandatory isolation and quarantine protocol.

Dr. Lalaine Calonzo, epidemiology and surveillance head of the City Health Office, confirmed on Friday that a male OFW attempted to go home and skip the 14-day quarantine upon arrival at the city international airport here aboard a “sweeper” flight from Manila.

She said the concerned worker was among those previously stranded in Metro Manila and flown home aboard a special Air Asia flight arranged by the national government as part of the Hatid Probinsya program.

When confronted, Calonzo said the OFW reportedly reasoned out that he has a car and wanted to use it to go home.

“But we already got him and, together with the PNP (Philippine National Police), brought him to a pension house for the quarantine,” she said in a press conference.

As of Friday morning, Calonzo said a total of 222 OFWs and 12 LSIs have already returned here.

She said all of them were being closely monitored by the CHO and provided with the necessary supplies.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the city will continue to welcome returning OFWs and LSIs and assured that all safety and health protocols were being observed amid the continuing threats on the spread of COVID-19.

He said they also ensure that all personnel handling them were always protected through the provision of proper personal protective equipment.

The mayor acknowledged that they were facing major challenges regarding the arrival of the stranded residents due to the uncertainty with their health status.

He confirmed that a female OFWs who arrived through the “sweeper” flights here since Monday previously tested positive for COVID-19 in Singapore.

“She tested negative upon arrival in the Philippines but we need still to need to subject her to another testing to make sure that she’s really negative,” he said. (MindaNews)