By Minerva BC Newman
DUMAGUETE CITY – All the 23 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who arrived in Negros Oriental on April 28, tested negative for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to Governor Roel Degamo.
In a press briefing Monday, Degamo said swab samples were immediately taken from the OFWs upon their arrival in this city last week, and that the results have come back from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu that they were all negative for the coronavirus.
“The results of the RT PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests came the following day and all of them tested negative. Nalipay kay ta ug dako kay negative ang swab sa mga OFW (We are glad that the swab tests of these OFWs turned out negative). They will now be returned to their respective places,” Degamo said. The governor added that he and Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion agreed to contact other local government units (LGUs) in the province to facilitate the transport of the OFWs back to their respective homes.
“The VSMMC gave us a group report. We are waiting for the official individual report before we turn them over to their respective LGUs who will transport/escort them to their homes,” she added. The 23 OFWs are currently billeted at a local hotel for a 14-day quarantine as per guidelines of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force – Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF – EID).
Degamo assured the residents of Barangay Daro in Dumaguete City, the village where the hotel is located that there was nothing to fear with the presence of repatriated OFWs in their neighborhood.
“To the people of Daro, there’s no cause of panic. I will always see to it that the provincial government is always on top of the situation. I assure you of your safety and the safety of all the residents of Negros Oriental. This is all for general safety,” Degamo said.