DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 04 January) — A female passenger from Japan who arrived in this city on December 31 was placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a designated government facility here.
Mayor Sara Duterte said the unnamed woman was not quarantined upon her arrival in Manila, which was made mandatory by the national government for those arriving in the capital from countries with mutated variants of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
During her program over DCDR 87.5 or the Davao City Disaster Radio, Duterte said the passenger was intercepted upon her arrival at the Davao International Airport.
“We do not know what happened in Manila why she was not sent to the quarantine (facility there). After arriving here, we intercepted her and she is now in our mandatory quarantine facility. We designated an area for her there,” she said.
City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson, who is concurrent head of the Airport Health Monitoring Team, said in a text message that the female passenger, who had a layover in Manila, was tested negative of the virus through the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
If domestic travelers can immediately proceed to home quarantine, Duterte said that air travelers from other countries will be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine in a designated facility of the government on concerns that they may be carriers of the new variant of COVID-19, which is more infectious.
“If we can see that this passenger came from a country included in the list of countries (temporarily) banned by the national government, we will put the passenger in the mandatory quarantine facility,” she said.
The national government has imposed a travel ban on travelers coming from the United States, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada and Spain.
The local government requires all air passengers to submit a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 24 to 72 hours before the flight to Davao City, or subject themselves to a free swab test at the DIA upon arrival.
She said that airport authorities are checking the places of origin of all arriving passengers, to possibly avert entry of the new COVID-19 variant.
The mayor reminded the public to comply with the basic health protocols to protect themselves from the virus.
As of January 3, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region recorded 12,785 total COVID-19 cases, with 1,645 active, 10,620 recoveries and 520 deaths.
Of the total cases, Davao City reported 8,951, Davao de Oro with 610, Davao del Norte with 1,615, Davao del Sur with 918, Davao Occidental with 127 and Davao Oriental with 564.