15 LSIs from Metro Manila test positive for COVID-19 in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 July) – Local health officials reported at least 15 persons out of the 166 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who arrived in Davao City last week aboard buses provided by the national government have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Duterte said during her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday that all the LSIs, after being stranded for up to four months in Metro Manila, arrived Tuesday last week at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT).

They were then subjected to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

Duterte said those found positive of COVID-19, who stayed for a few days in home quarantine, were immediately transferred by health authorities to isolation facilities after test results came out.

“They waited for one to two days under home quarantine before the 15 individuals were taken to the facilities,” she added.

Despite this, Duterte said the local government is directed by the national government to receive all the LSIs from Metro Manila.

“If there is information from the national government that it will be sending LSIs, we are obligated to receive them and then, on our part, we will test all LSIs,” she said.

For returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), Duterte said they must show RT-PCR test results released not more than 48 hours upon arrival in the city.

She said ROFs would be subjected to re-swabbing if test results are more than two days old.

As part of the precautionary measures implemented at the Davao International Airport, Duterte said there would be random testing among passengers of regular commercial flights.

She said that from April 29 to July 12, the city government received a total of 7,949 inbound passengers (4,478 Davao City residents and 3,471 non-residents) and assisted 4,645 outbound passengers.

Duterte added that passengers who are waiting for RT-PCR results, and those who do not show symptoms of COVID-19 and pass the initial health screening, would be placed under home quarantine.

“We never put mild and asymptomatic patients under home quarantine. Those who are confirmed COVID-19 patients would be brought to SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center). They are being processed there and then the doctor will assign them to which facility they will be placed,” she said.

As of July 13, Department of Health-Davao recorded 17 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 773 with 35 deaths and 457 recoveries. Of the total cases, 562 are in Davao City, 75 in Davao del Norte, 29 in Davao del Sur, 55 in Davao de Oro, 48 in Davao Oriental, and four in Davao Occidental. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)