Ilonggo LSIs fear getting COVID-19 at Rizal Stadium

Published July 26, 2020, 9:08 AM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—A locally stranded individual (LSI), who hails from Iloilo province, couldn’t but express fear that he his sister might get infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after their July 24 trip was cancelled, and they were lumped with thousands of other LSIs at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium in Manila.

Thousands of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) await for rapid COVID-19 test at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. (James Roy Dusaban)

“If they allowed the trip yesterday [July 24], we wouldn’t be here. Then we would not be worried of getting infected, but we may get COVID-19,” said James Roy Dusaban, a 20-year-old from Dumangas town.

Dusaban and his 27year-old sister Vina Marie were scheduled to go home on a ship Friday morning, but that trip was cancelled.

From the Port of Manila, they were told to go to the stadium, where they have been for over a day.

“We are being made to go around in circles,” Dusaban told Manila Bulletin in an online interview Saturday, June 25.

They were all set to go home with their documents, including their negative result from a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RP-PCR) test, which is the gold standard for COVID-19 detection.

Despite this negative result, Dusaban said they were getting more frustrated as they still have to undergo rapid test, and the process was taking too long.

According to Dusaban, the trip to Iloilo was rescheduled on July 26. But he was not yet sure if this will even push through since only the LSIs from Mindanao were being processed for rapid testing as of press time Saturday.

While free meals are being given out, Dusaban reiterated that the condition in the stadium was not very comfortable, and they even have to figure out where they can take a bath.

“We just want this to be over with. We just want to go home,” Dusaban  said.

“We can only hope and pray we survive this,” Dusaban  added.