79 nabbed over fake swab test results in Davao

Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - April 26, 2021 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — At least 79 people have been apprehended for presenting fake reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results upon arrival at the Davao International Airport.

The city tourism office said the test results showed these were issued by different testing centers.

“Mostly were supposedly issued by the Philippine Red Cross and now we observe there are those from the Lord’s Grace testing center and these do not bear QR codes,” city tourism office chief Gene Rose Tecson said.

“There were also fake certificates supposedly issued by the University of Cebu Medical Center and Central Visayas Laboratory.

Another certificate showed it was issued by a clinic in Zamboanga,” Tecson added.

The Department of Health has put a price cap on the RT-PCR tests at P5,000 and P3,000 for private and public testing centers, respectively.

Tecson said there were a few cases involving flight passengers who suposedly underwent swab tests in a laboratory in Cubao, Quezon City, only to find out upon arrival at the Davao International Airport that their certificates were fake.

City acting health officer Ashley Lopez said all border restrictions are being tightened and the mandatory requirement of presenting a negative RT-PCR test result upon entry to the city is strictly being enforced.

The test-before-travel requirement for all inbound travelers is provided under City Ordinance 0477-21.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio reminded Davao-bound passengers not to falsify their COVID-free certificates as it would put them and other people at risk.

Violators were subjected to swab tests at the airport’s molecular laboratory before they were brought in for inquest or to a quarantine facility.

Filing of cases for those who tested positive will be done after they complete their quarantine requirement.

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