Governors want COVID-19 tests for travelers at point of entry


Posted at Mar 11 2021 07:37 AM | Updated as of Mar 11 2021 07:49 AM

Governors want COVID-19 tests for travelers at point of entry 1
A limited number of citizens avail of the free drive-thru RT-PCR testing offered by the Manila City Government at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on January 18, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - Governors have asked the government's task force against COVID-19 to allow coronavirus testing for travelers at the entry point of provinces to detect asymptomatic carriers, an official said Thursday.

The national government has standardized requirements for tourists and has removed documents such as travel authority, medical certificate, and quarantine if they show no symptoms.

Most governors want coronavirus testing done for travelers at the point of entry instead of the point of origin, said Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco, president of the League of Provinces.

"Ang hinihiling po namin para mayroon naman po kaming paraan para malaman po kung positive 'yung papasok. Upon arrival dun sa port of entry na iallow po ang LGU na magprescribe ng PCR test, saliva test or antigen test," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(What we're asking for is to have a way to know at the port of entry if the traveler is positive by allowing us to conduct either a PCR test, saliva test, or antigen test.)

"Marami pong asymptomatic. Kung gagamitin po ang pine-prescribe ng Resolution 101 na clinical exposure assessment, hindi po makikita doon kung positibo ang papasok dahil marami rin po ang asymptomatic na carrier."

(Many are asymptomatic. If we comply with Resolution 101 which only requires clinical exposure assessment, we won't detect if the traveler is positive for the virus.)

Local governments are allowed to use any of the 3 COVID-19 tests but RT-PCR remains the gold standard, said Velasco.

Those who will turn out positive in antigen tests will be quarantined and will undergo confirmatory swab tests, he added.

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