DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 May) – Tourists may be required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) result before they can be allowed to enter Davao Region once the resolution on the regionwide “uniform border control” of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 (RIATF)-Davao Region takes effect.
Dr. Annabelle Yumang, Department of Health (DOH)-Davao regional director, said during a virtual press conference on Monday that the local government units in the region are set to enforce stricter border control measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease in the area.
But she said the resolution still awaits approval from the task force.
Davao Region comprises the provinces of Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro, and City of Davao.
She explained that the implementation of this measure is to ensure that no one infected with COVID-19 can enter the region, which may result in an increase in the number of infection.
Yumang clarified that the negative RT-PCR test requirement will not apply to residents of this region.
She said the requirement will be applicable to individuals coming from other regions who will enter Davao for “tourism purposes,” and must show proof of their prior bookings with accommodation establishments such as hotels or resorts.
“Their accommodation at resort or hotel must be verified,” Yumang said.
She said authorities want to limit entry of people to the region for “essential travel” only.
As of May 3, DOH-Davao reported 27 new cases, bringing the total cases to 23,544, with 864 active, 21,694 recoveries, and 986 deaths in the region.
Out of the total, Davao City, which has the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 14,605 cases, with 372 active, 13,543 recoveries, and 690 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,565 cases, Davao del Norte with 4,120, Davao del Sur with 1,593, Davao Occidental with 232, and Davao Oriental with 1,429.
In a statement on Tuesday, Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, who is the concurrent chairperson of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, said the province has yet to implement the border control as they have additional joint guidelines from Regional Task Force COVID-19 and RIATF.
“The RTF-IATF is the only who can officially release a resolution that will be disseminated to local government units, including the law enforcement agencies,” she said.
Davao City has remained under general community quarantine (GCQ) until end of May while the rest of the region are under modified general community quarantine. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)