MANILA - Residents returning to their home provinces do not yet need to undergo swab testing for the coronavirus, the vice-chairperson of the national task force against the COVID-19 pandemic said Monday.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the proposal for locally stranded individuals to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests at their home provinces is not yet approved.
"Nagkaroon lang siguro ng miscommunication. Hindi required 'yung PCR testing sa kanila. Hindi pa naman na-approve 'yung bagong pino-propose nating protocol na maga-undergo ng PCR testing ang mga LSI pero ito ay doon na sa kanilang point of destination," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Maybe there was a miscommunication. They are not required to undergo PCR testing. The proposal has yet to be approved for LSIs to undergo PCR test at their point of destination.)
Año issued the clarification following the announcement of Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar in a separate Teleradyo interview that travelers bound for other areas in Visayas and Mindanao on board ships are required to present the results of their nasal swab test.
Government will shoulder the returning residents' PCR test and is preparing to distribute more test kits, according to Año.
He added that government has yet to setup a molecular laboratory in some regions such as Caraga.