Zamboanga City to probe illegal entry of COVID-19 positive foreigners: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2021 08:03 AM

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MANILA - Authorities in Zamboanga are investigating the illegal entry of some foreigners who were unable to present confirmatory swab test results and later tested positive for COVID-19, an official said Wednesday.

The Zamboanga Task Force COVID-19 had received a letter request from the foreigners and denied them entry as they did not present RT-PCR test results, a requirement for entry into the city, said its chief implementer Dr. Elmeir Apolinario.

"In spite ng denial namin, unfortunately nakapasok pa rin. The other day we met with Wesmincom (Western Mindanao Command) and other offices concerned to determine who issued authority for them to come in," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

The foreigners have since recovered from COVID-19 and "some of them already left the city," Apolinario said. Contact tracing is still ongoing, he added.

"Para at least madetermine natin who were with them, and also advise ibang LGUs (local government units) kung nandun sila sa area nila," he said.

(So we can at least determine who were with them and also to advise other LGUs if the foreigners were in their area.)

"It doesn't stop the city to determine who gave the authority for their entry."

The local inter-agency task force will have the discretion to make its recommendation to the Department of Health "in determining the lapses or the gaps in terms of coordination," Apolinario said.

The city has 266 active cases out of a total 13,302 COVID-19 infections as of Tuesday, according to DOH data.

It has 2,000 beds ready in the event of a surge, according to Apolinario.