Only 2 percent of Filipinos arriving from overseas tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to National Task Force against Covid-19 (NTF Covid-19) Deputy Chief Implementer Vivencio Dizon.
In a virtual press briefing on Wednesday, Dizon said that of the confirmed 3,684 arrivals from December 22 to January 3, 2021 where 3,610 tested negative, only 74 tested positive, which equates to a 2- percent positivity rate.
He said that the specimens from the 74 travelers are noq being examined at the Philippine Genome Center of University of the Philippines (UP) and at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to detect the new variant of Covid-19 that is considered to be more contagious.
Dizon explained that the 2- percent positivity rate is considered low. However, he said that the government cannot afford to take risks, so travelers originating from countries where the new Covid-19 variant is present are required to undergo the 14-day quarantine period, including those with negative Covid-19 test results.
”The NTF Covid-19 confirmed the 21 countries covered by the temporary travel restrictions as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, the United States of America, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, and Germany,” the task force said in a statement.
Dizon also advised travelers who will be coming from the 21 countries to postpone their flights.On the other hand, he said there are 120 hotels that can accommodate arriving passengers for them to complete the mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine period that is being implemented to prevent the new coronavirus strain from entering the country. SOVEREIGNPH