Health screening mandatory for persons entering Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 May) – The city government has reminded the public that all incoming individuals entering Davao City will be subjected to a health screening upon arrival at the city’s land checkpoints, seaport, and airport.

A personnel from Davao City’s Public Safety and Security Command Center takes the temperature of motorists at a checkpoint. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

In a statement on Monday, the city government said this health screening will determine whether a person entering the city should be sent for a RT-PCR (Rapid Test – Polymerase Chain Reaction) test at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), to a city-dedicated quarantine facility or to undergo a 14-day mandatory home quarantine.

It also said that short stay individuals and workers coming in and out every day will also be subjected to the same health screening every time they enter the city, “but they will not be mandated to be quarantined.”

“They shall, however, be sent to the SPMC if they fail the health screening,” it said.

Also, entry to Davao City during this General Community Quarantine (GCQ) will only be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. This, as the city government disclosed that there is only a limited number of “qualified health personnel to conduct the health screening.”

Meanwhile, the city government also clarified that anybody who intends to travel outside the city can go outside of Davao City anytime as the Omnibus Guidelines do not require the City Government to issue travel orders to individuals who intend to go out of the city.

Section 7 (6) of the Omnibus Guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases provides that “the movement of persons across areas placed under GCQ and MGCQ for any purpose other than leisure shall be permitted.”

The city government however, has advised the public to expect long lines at the checkpoints and airport, stressing that people should avoid unnecessary travel to Davao City because of the increasing number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the city.

Davao City currently holds the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Davao region. On May 18, the Department of Health (DOH)-Center for Health and Development reported 15 new positives in the city, bringing to 193 the total number of cases in the city out of 215 cases in the region.

The DOH-Davao bared that the new cases were all from Barangay 23-C, which is also one of the five barangays recently marked by the Davao City government as a “very high risk” area (see other story) because of the number of COVID-19 cases. (Warren Elijah E. Valdez / MindaNews)