By Jean Fernando
Bohol Governor Arturo Yap said on Monday, May 4, that they are now conducting second polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to the 48 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who returned to the province.
Yap said during the Laging Handa briefing that the 48 OFWs were currently isolated in a hotel room. So far, none of them showed symptoms of mild or severe respiratory illness or that they were affected with the coronavirus (COVID19).
Yap also said that there is a report showing that two OFWs from Bohol showed symptoms that they were affected with the virus last May 1, but it turned out negative when they were subjected to rapid tests. He said that, for the record, Bohol can still be declared as COVID-19-free while they are waiting for the final word from the Department of Health (DEOH) to determine if the said two OFWs who showed symptoms of the virus would turn positive or negative.
The governor admitted that reports reached him that two or three OFWs were suffering from colds but doctors attending to them said it is very far from being affected with the virus. Yap said that they are ready to accept OFWs at the Gallares Hospital for treatment if they are found out to be positive with the virus.
Bohol is already declared under general community quarantine, Yap said that they will only implement small adjustments like studying slowly opening of tourism and non-essential businesses like parlors, barbershops, salon, malls, food industry, among others.
He said that during the declaration of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, major sectors in Bohol will remain open like agriculture, fishery, transport sector, market, grocery, remittance center slaughter houses, pharmacies, banks, and others.
The governor said that senior citizens were given a break are also now allowed to go out of their houses every Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to attend to their any transactions to banks while the youths below 18 year olds are also allowed to go out with the supervision of their parents from Mondays to Fridays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00p.m.
On the economy of the province, Yap said that they also have to focus on helping the tourism industry and the MSMEs (micro-small and medium enterprises).
Yap said that the government set aside P250-million surety guaranteed to help MSMEs so that banks and lending companies will have the confidence and allow them to borrow at a lower interest rate of one percent.