Five of the 48 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who are quarantined at a hotel in Tagbilaran City have exhibited flu-like symptoms prompting health authorities to set their transfer to a government isolation facility, an official said.
According to Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Yul Lopez, who is also the Capitol’s spokesperson on coronavirus disease (COVID) 19-related matters, the five OFWs were having colds and coughs starting Thursday, two days after their arrival from Metro Manila on April 28.
Lopez said that the five OFWs will be checked up at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital then transferred to the isolation center at the Capitol Annex Building or a resort in Panglao.
“Ingon si Governor Art na naa kuno silay gi-identify sa Panglao na mura’g resort, either kini or sa [Capitol Annex] mao nay duha ka choices,” he said.
Some 15 others who were identified as the roommates of the five OFWs at the Crab House hotel will also be transferred to the facility even if they are asymptomatic.
The health official said that the five OFWs have undergone real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Test results of the swab samples which were sent to Cebu City however are still awaited.
“Dili ta gusto og rapid test, kanang PCR g’yud,” Lopez said.
All 48 OFWs who arrived from Metro Manila were subjected to rapid COVID-19 testing before they were allowed to enter Bohol with each one yielding negative results.
OFWs have started to arrive in Bohol since Tuesday after the national government’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved their travel even amid the tight quarantine measures and travel ban implemented across the nation.
Governor Arthur Yap was initially caught by surprise when the national government informed the Capitol of the approval late last week without prior notice to local authorities.
But the governor who “strongly registered” his objections against the lack of coordination from national authorities regarding the entry of OFWs has since focused on preparing for their arrival instead.
This was after Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. who is the chief implementer of the government’s national response against COVID-19 explained to Yap that the hastened approval was due to the “pressure” on the national government to let OFWs go home.
“Among gihisgutan ang tinuod sitwasyon sa kaulohan ug ang mga hulga na gi-atubang…pag-human sa among kombersasyon, nakasabot ko sa kalisud na ilang gi-atuban,” said Yap.
Galvez reportedly told Yap that around 70,000 OFWs have been stranded in hotels and various facilities in Metro Manila and allowing them to go home to their provinces would help ease the burden on the strained healthcare system in the capital region and curb transmission of the virus.