The Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) has decided to maintain the requirement of a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) result to enter the province even for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
This was announced Tuesday by BIATF spokesperson Dr. Yul Lopez following the National IATF’s issuance of Resolution 124-B which supposedly abolishes the need for a negative COVID-19 test result during interzonal travel for those who have been fully vaccinated.
Interzonal travel refers to the movement of persons between provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities under different community quarantine classifications.
The BIATF which is led by Governor Art Yap made its decision following a meeting among members of its health cluster on Monday.
According to Lopez, members of the BIATF health cluster including doctors and health experts raised concern over the possibility of fully vaccinated individuals to still be carriers of the contagious respiratory disease.
“Experts say that even fully vaccinated persons can still get infected by COVID. So pwede pa diay ma carrier na pod,” Lopez said.
The health official also noted the possibility of travelers using fake vaccination cards to enter Bohol.
“There is a big concern on the assurance that vaccination cards are genuine and not fake. Kung malutsan ang LGU, dakong problema ky laktod wala na man gyud testing upon entry,” Lopez added.
According to Lopez, the League of Provinces made an appeal to the National IATF to hold off the implementation of the order considering that localities have varied COVID-19 situations.
“The league of provinces has a pending request to National IATF to respect local situations (like Bohol) and put on hold this new order,” Lopez said.
On Sunday last week, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said fully vaccinated people will only need to present their vaccination card for interzonal travel and will no longer be required to submit a swab test result.
“A fully vaccinated individual is someone who has more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received the second dose in a 2-dose vaccine; or more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine,” Roque, also spokesperson of the national IATF said in a statement.
Citing the same IATF-EID resolution, Roque said a fully vaccinated must be administered with vaccines that are included in the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) List or Compassionate Special Permit (CSP) issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration or Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization (WHO). (R. Tutas)