The first and second batches of repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were ferried by the national government to their home province of Bohol reached their 14th day of facility quarantine in the province on Tuesday.
According to Dr. Yul Lopez, the Capitol’s spokesperson on coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019-related matters, all of the OFWs were “healthy” but were not yet allowed to go home pending the results of the second round of PCR ( polymerase chain reaction) testing.
“Ato ng paabuton, ato ng requirement na dapat mag-negatibo ang ilang PCR test result. Unless mag-negative, dili nato sila tugutan na mo pauli sa ilang panimalay,” he said.
The first and second batches of OFWs were comprised of 65 individuals. They were ferried from Cebu and Manila to Tagbilaran City on April 28.
Lopez said that none of the 65 OFWs showed “concerning” symptoms of the disease while they were on quarantine for a total of 50 days in Manila and Bohol. Their lack of symptoms should allay fears that they are infected with COVID-19, he added.
“[They] were in facility quarantine from March 22 to April 26 or 27, 36 ka adlaw pun-an pa g’yud sa 14 ka adlaw sa Bohol, 36 plus 14 so 50 ka adlaw na quarantine wala g’yud problema ni sila tanan,” he said. “Kung duna pay kahadlokan nga sakit na gihambin ning atoang mga OFW ngano wala man g’yud mo pakita sud sa 50 ka adlaw na gikwarantina ni sila.”
Health authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO) and Department of Health (DOH) however have repeatedly noted that many of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 which causes the COVID 19 respiratory illness are asymptomatic or not showing symptoms.
Lopez also earlier reported that five of the OFWs were noted to have had coughs and colds, but four of them have since recovered.
The 65 OWFs, plus 51 more who arrived in Bohol on May 9, are quarantined in three separate facilities in the resort island of Panglao—the Mercederian Retreat House in Dauis and Roman Empire Resort and The Story resort in Panglao—and Crabhouse Hotel in Tagbilaran City.
Lopez said that their accommodations are being shouldered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the provincial government of Bohol and the local government units of the OFWs respective home town or city.
According to Lopez, they will issue a certification to the OFWs once they complete the 14-day quarantine and they test negative in PCR tests allowing them to be released from quarantine.
On Monday, DOH 7 director Jaime Bernadas explained that one of their automatic extractor machines in Cebu City where all of the COVID-19 testings for the region are being done bogged down causing a backlog in their processes.
According to Bernadas, the test results of the swab samples which were taken from the Bohol OFWs on Wednesday last week could be released in the next few days.
“Ang atong target within the week na siya mo abot ang atong makina, maka catch up ta sa atong mga backlogs unya maka update na ta sa atong resulta sa PCR,” he said. (A. Doydora)