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Negative RT-PCR required for all travelers to Negros

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Negative RT-PCR test results are again required of all travelers, including those fully vaccinated against the Covid-19, to be allowed entry to Negros Occidental, following the increasing cases of the highly-contagious Delta variant.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson signed yesterday Executive Order No. 21-38, series of 2021, implementing more stringent protocols for inbound travel to the province to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

Under the EO, all travelers are required to have a Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage, or S-PaSS permit, are registered in the Stay Safe.PH application, and also have a negative R-PCR test before travel.

The province shall offer free and voluntary swabbing to inbound passengers at the airport and seaports, but those who avail of this service shall be required to undergo facility quarantine, either at an LGU quarantine facility or an accredited provincial facility pending the result of the RT-PCR swab test, it added.

ORDER AMENDED

The EO amended an earlier order that adopted the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases that states that fully vaccinated individuals were no longer required to present negative swab test results if they want to travel within the country, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.

Diaz also said the negative RT-PCR test results should be included in the application for S-Pass, before they can travel to the province.

He added that the request of Philippine Airlines for additional flights to cater to fully-vaccinated individuals from Manila to Negros Occidental was temporarily set aside, due to the threats of the Delta variant.

“As much as possible, if we can prevent it from entering the province, or isolate infected persons if they manage to enter, so much the better,” he said.

Those coming from areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine, such as the city and province of Iloilo, and Negros Oriental, that is under the Modified ECQ, and non-essential travelers are required also to present negative RT-PCR test results, Diaz added.

APORs NOT SPARED

He also said that, for him, Authorized Persons Outside Residence, who are not immune to the virus, should not be spared from the negative RT-PCR requirement.

“There should be no splitting of classifications. If it applies to a person, it applies to everybody, because we know that, in the past, infections also came from them,” he stressed.

For travelers who cannot afford to undergo RT-PCR testing from their points of origin, Diaz said the provincial government is offering voluntary swabbing, free of charge, upon their arrival in the province.

He added that Lacson will meet the mayors of Negros Occidental on July 26 to inform them of the campaign strategy against Covid-19, like the RT-PCR tests of residents of Bago City to Hinobaan that should be processed at the Valladolid District molecular laboratory, and at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital lab in Silay City for residents of Talisay City to San Carlos City.

As to the disposal of 70,000 doses of the single-jab Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen, Diaz said they will be distributed to local government units, starting July 26 until July 30.

He said there are LGUs requesting 2,000 doses a day.

Diaz, however, ruled out walk-in vaccines, adding that they should be pre-registered with the Department of Health, and should belong to the A2 and A3 categories.*

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