BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said that he will seek approval from the National Inter Agency Task Force for Negros Occidental to revert to the previous health protocol of requiring returning residents to undergo swab testing and quarantine upon arrival at the ports or airport.
This, after the provincial government discovered a modus operandi of unscrupulous individuals at the ports of Manila selling fake negative RT-PCR results to travelers bound for the province.
Lacson said eight returning Kabankalan City residents admitted paying a certain amount to secure a negative RT-PCR test results without undergoing swab testing just to comply with the requirements before boarding a plane or ship going to the province.
The fake RT-PCR negative result is reportedly sold at P900.
“That is why it is better that we should conduct the swab tests here,” Lacson said.
Resolution 101 of the National Inter Agency Task Force states that Covid-19 testing and quarantine are not mandatory for travelers unless the concerned local government units make it a requirement.
While they are implementing the IATF resolution, ironically, Covid-19 active cases are surging with 268 as of March 24 compared to 58 in the previous month, records of the Provincial Incident Management Team (PIMT), showed.
“I hope they allow us to go back to our old protocol,” Lacson said, adding that they will inform IATF of what they have discovered.
People coming from Manila contributed to the surge of active cases in the province, Lacson said, noting the correlation between Locally Stranded Individuals and local transmissions, which are also increasing.*