OFWs may wait 3-4 days for COVID test results after Red Cross pullout: Coast Guard

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2020 09:05 AM

A member of the Philippine Coast Guard guides Filipino Contract Workers (OFW) as they arrive from Hong Kong at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines on Wednesday. May 13, 2020. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Filipino migrant workers who have returned to the Philippines might wait 3 to 4 days before getting their coronavirus test results after the Philippine Red Cross halted its services to government due to PhilHealth's P1 billion debt, the Philippine Coast Guard said Monday.

Overseas Filipino workers previously received their test results overnight, PCG spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo said. 

The PCG is looking for ways to hasten the process and has deployed more personnel at the capital's international airport to manually encode coronavirus tests of overseas Filipino workers, he added.

"Kung natatandaan mo noon, hirap na hirap tayo nung nagsisimula tayo hanggang sa maging smooth yung procedure because of the system na pinairal, kasama dyan sa sistema yung mga inimplement din ng Red Cross," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(If you can recall, we struggled in the beginning until a system was in place, part of which was the Philippine Red Cross.)

"Hopefully maibalik natin at kung di naman makagawa tayo ng paraan para mapigilan itong delay."

(Hopefully we can return to that and if not, find new ways to avoid delay.)

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The health department earlier said it has tapped several other laboratories to run the tests. Over 1 million coronavirus tests, or about a fourth of the Philippines' 3.8 million tests so far, were done by PRC. 

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