Legal action eyed vs 5 Negrenses from UK

Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2021 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The provincial government of Negros Occidental is eyeing legal action against five Negrenses who did not disclose that they came from the United Kingdom prior to their arrival in their hometowns.

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said two of the returning residents, a couple from Pontevedra, tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019. He said the patients misdeclared themselves as locally stranded individuals.

Lacson said swab samples from the two COVID-19 patients would be forwarded to Manila for testing for the new virus variant.

He said the couple are under isolation in Pontevedra along with their son who tested negative for the virus.

“We did not allow them to transfer to our quarantine facility until we know the virus variant,” Lacson said.

He said the infected couple, their son and two others, who arrived in Manila on Dec. 31, left for this city without completing their 14-day quarantine.

Lacson said Negrenses returning from abroad would be requested to undergo swab testing upon their arrival at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases protocol, returning overseas Filipinos are allowed to go home upon their arrival in the provinces after testing negative for the virus and completing their quarantine in Manila.

Mayor Marvin Malacon of EB Magalona said a native of their town, who also came from the UK, tested negative for the virus, but was asked to go on 14-day quarantine.

Technical glitch

Meanwhile, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar wrote the Department of Health (DOH) to correct its report that the city recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country on Wednesday.

The DOH reported that Zamboanga has 206 cases followed by Davao City with 109; Kalinga, 102; Quezon City, 77, and Benguet, 74.

Salazar said city health officer Dulce Miravite reported that only 13 new cases were recorded on Wednesday, bringing the total to 3,868.

“We also made a report to the national office... There could be some technical glitch resulting from the erroneous data that filter in,” DOH-Zamboanga peninsula director Joshua Brillantes said.

Lockdown sought

In Kalinga, the city health office recommended a lockdown in Tabuk amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The city has 184 active cases, 131 of them in isolation facilities and the rest in various hospitals.

City health officer Henrieta Bagayao said their quarantine and health facilities are overwhelmed due to a surge in cases.

As this developed, 38 more Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 9,683.

Eleven of the new cases are from Cagayan Valley, seven from Northern Mindanao, four each from the Cordilleras and Metro Manila and one each from Central Luzon and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. Ten others are from various operational and administrative support units of the PNP. – Roel Pareño, Emmanuel Tupas, Raymund Catindig

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