Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed around 200 returning Filipinos from Milan, Italy to observe home quarantine upon their return to the Philippines, Malacañang said on Thursday.

In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID has agreed to exempt the 200 returning Filipinos from mandatory facility-based quarantine.

They, however, still have to undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) once they arrive in the country, Roque said.

“’Yung mga magte-test pong negative ay exempted na po sa requirement ng facility-based quarantine ay papayagan na pong umuwi ng kanilang mga probinsya pero maga-undergo po sila ng (Those who will test negative will be exempted from the requirement of facility-based quarantine and allowed to undergo) 14-day home quarantine,” he said.

Italy is among the countries with the highest Covid-19 cases. Over 200,000 confirmed Covid-19 infections have been recorded in Italy.

Under existing Covid-19 protocols imposed by the Philippines, Filipino repatriates are mandated to temporarily stay in Manila to undergo mandatory quarantine in isolation facilities before returning to their respective hometowns.

Repatriates could also be tested using antibody rapid test kits after entering quarantine facilities or undergoing the 14-day quarantine.

Roque said the IATF-EID has also authorized National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. to exercise discretion in utilizing RT-PCR or rapid antibody test kits to facilitate the speedy management or processing of around 16,000 quarantined overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and arriving foreign nationals.

He added that all arriving non-OFWs will be managed under the updated algorithm for the triage and management of repatriated OFWs from high-risk or other jurisdictions issued by the Department of Health and the Bureau of Quarantine.

In the Philippines, there are so far 8,488 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 568 fatalities and 1,043 recoveries. (IA/PNA)

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