DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Dec) – Five passengers onboard a single flight from Manila on Monday were caught at the Davao International Airport (DIA) for presenting fake reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results upon arrival.
This was confirmed by City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson who reported that the number of passengers arrested for showing fake coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test results since last week totaled to nine.
Mayor Sara Duterte, in her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), said the passengers from Manila were tested in different COVID-19 testing laboratories.
She said that the passengers chose to fake the virus test results hoping to avoid getting swabbed at the DIA.
“These people are really very dangerous because, the fact that they did not want to submit themselves for testing, we would never know if they are asymptomatic. Or, if they have symptoms, they are keeping it to themselves,” she said.
Duterte expressed concern that these passengers could cause community transmission if they manage to sneak out of the airport undetected, worsening the COVID-19 situation in the city.
She directed airport authorities to strengthen efforts in validating and checking virus test results of arriving passengers.
“There is a need to properly plan your travel or your trips so that if you opt to get tested at the Davao City airport – and it is free – you would still have sufficient time in your schedule to wait for the test result,” the mayor said.
She said passengers with fake RT-PCR test results will still have to undergo the swab test.
Passengers will face criminal charges for falsification of documents, according to Tecson.
Executive Order 63 released on November 23 requires authorized persons outside residence (APOR) entering the city via air travel to present company/office ID and certificate of employment or acknowledgment of principal for labor/service (for those without employer-employee relationship); medical certificate clearance; company/office travel order; hotels and other similar accommodation establishments confirmation (APOR cannot stay in the houses of Davao City residents), if staying for more than one day; roundtrip ticket; negative result of RT-PCR test taken 24 to 72 hours prior to date of arrival or submit for testing upon arrival.
It added that a mandatory 14-day hotel/home quarantine is required before they report to work if the APOR is staying for more than 14 days or residing permanently in the city. Quarantine expenses shall be paid for by the employer.
It added that returning residents traveling by land, air or sea, including the locally stranded individuals, overseas Filipinos, and overseas Filipino workers, must present negative result of RT-PCR test taken 24 to 72 hours prior to date of arrival or submit for testing upon arrival, and must undergo 14-day home quarantine.
As of December 21, Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 11,592 COVID-19 cases in the region, with 1,915 active, 9,219 recoveries, and 458 deaths.
Of the total cases, Davao City reported 8,159, Davao de Oro with 575, Davao del Norte with 1,391, Davao del Sur with 832, Davao Occidental with 122, and Davao Oriental with 513. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)