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Removal of swab test for vaccinated inbound Pinoys eyed
A health worker takes a swab of a woman in Brgy. Pasadena in San Juan City on May 6, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Removal of swab test for vaccinated inbound Pinoys eyed

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - June 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is inclined to recommend that Filipinos who have been fully vaccinated abroad no longer be required to undergo swab tests for COVID-19 when they arrive in the Philippines.

At a press briefing, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire however said these Filipinos who forgo swab tests still have to be monitored closely.

Vergeire noted that Filipinos who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination will still have to undergo the required quarantine for seven days.

“If you recall, that was the opinion of experts, that if you do not require swab tests, the incoming travelers must be isolated and quarantined. You’re good but, of course, we would always want to defer to testing, especially if we would want to do contact tracing, of all of these things,” she added.

But the official clarified that nothing is final yet because one challenge that they have to face is how to validate the authenticity of vaccination cards.

According to Vergeire, similar policy may apply for returning overseas Filipinos who received their COVID-19 jabs in the Philippines.

“They leave the country but when they return, they will (undergo quarantine) for seven days without any testing at all,” she said.

She added these Filipinos will be monitored and if they do not develop symptoms within seven days, they will be discharged.

But they have to continuously be monitored by their local government units after being discharged.

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