DAVAO CITY, July 7 (PIA) - The City Health Office (CHO) assured that all locally stranded individuals (LSIs) coming to Davao City following the assistance by the national government's Hatid Tulong Program have undergone RT-PCR swab test.
Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, City Health Officer said the polymerase chain reaction test is the sure way of determining if the person has COVID-19 infection.
She said that the result of the swab test will be known in two days.
Villafuerte clarified that the LSIs already had their rapid detection tests conducted before they rode the bus bound for Mindanao.
She explained that the RDT is not confirmatory for COVID-19 that is why the RT-PCR is needed.
"We are doing the RT-PCR because many of the LSIs are already exposed in Manila. Local transmission, community transmission. We have to know how many of them are truly positive with COVID-19 infection," Villafuerte said.
She stressed the LSIs have to undergo one-time checking.
Villafuerte said the government would no longer allow that the LSIs would undergo RDT alone and then pick them up when they manifest the symptoms.
She pointed out that the local government has been encouraging even those arrivals at the airport to undergo RT-PCR swab test.
At exactly 1:35 am today (July 7) two Partas Buses with body numbers 83408 and 85978 respectively arrived at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal onboard 40 Davaoenos who were stranded from three to four months in Metro Manila and had gone home through the Hatid Tulong Initiative of the national government.
Earlier on at 8:45 pm Monday, an 8-member family also arrived from Iloilo City via Cagayan de Oro City.
All of them underwent swab tests to determine if they are infected with Covid-19.
Members of the Highway Patrol Group XI escorted the buses as they entered Davao Region.
The brass band of the Police Regional Office XI played march renditions as the LSIs disembarked from the buses.
Gemma de la Cruz, leader of the response team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development XI bared that there would be 505 initial number of LSIs who conveyed interests to come home to Davao City.
She said that all the LSIs have to undergo RT-PCR tests when they arrive at the Davao Overland Transport Terminal.
"The central office of the DSWD provided them cash assistance at P2,000 during the travel and the LSIs will be given food packs during their arrival," De la Cruz said.
De la Cruz said every food pack contains six kilos of rice, four cans of sardines, four tins of corned beef and six coffee sachets.
She stressed that for the LSIs, there is no safer place like home.
"While they stay in their home town, they also have their families with them, which give them the biggest support. This place is the safest for them," De la Cruz said.
She observed many of the LSIs were the ones seen at the roadside near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3 while there were those who coordinated the DSWD online or went directly to the Quirino Avenue last Saturday afternoon. (PIA XI-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)