The number of locally stranded individuals (LSI) who have arrived in Bohol surged on Tuesday to 588 and is expected to further climb in the forthcoming weeks.
According to Dr. Yul Lopez, spokesperson of the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (BIATF-EID), the number of LSIs in the province could reach “thousands” in the next weeks.
“Magdugang pa g’yud ni, sayon ra ni na mo abot sa sobra sa 1,000 to 2,000 tungod kay matag adlaw duna na tay gipahiluna na schedules,” he said.
In his previous report issued on Monday, Lopez said that there were 301 LSIs in the province.
The growing influx of LSIs is expected after the provincial government eased its requirements for them to enter the province in accordance with the national government’s directive to allow individuals who have been stranded in various localities due to travel restrictions to go home to their provinces.
LSIs only need to secure a medical certificate from a government physician and a travel authority from the Philippine National Police. They are no longer required to undergo testing for coronavirus disease 2019 prior to their trips to the province.
Lopez said that 130 more LSIs are expected to arrive in Bohol either late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Most of them, at around 80 individuals, are from Tubigon.
The health official reminded LSIs to coordinate first with their town’s focal person before travelling to Bohol as they would need to be quarantined for 14 days at their local government unit’s designated quarantine facility.
Skipping quarantine is a violation of protocols set by the provincial government for returning LSIs.
“Dili ta mo tugot na mo kalit lang mo og abot na wala kamo mananghid sa inyong lungsod kay walay makatagbo ninyo sa pantalan, ug labaw sa tanan walay makapahiluna ninyo sa quarantine facility,” he said.
According to Lopez, local health officials have agreed to adjust protocols and subject LSIs to a rapid antibody test on the 14th and last day of their quarantine before they are allowed to go home.
This will be done after the national government no longer required LSIs to undergo rapid test, or the more definitive polymerase chain reaction test, before traveling to their destinations.
Some mayors in Bohol have purchased their own rapid test kits while the provincial government will extend assistance to LGUs which do not have their own testing devices, he added. (with AD)