DAVAO CITY (PNA) – The city government of Davao continues to conduct coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test on arriving passengers at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport or Davao International Airport (DIA) as part of its response to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson, in an interview Friday, said that, as of Aug. 29, the city has served 667 passengers arriving at DIA.
She said DIA was currently serving 11 domestic flights daily.
Tecson added that even if DIA wanted to serve more flights, it could not do so because the temporary holding facility at the airport was just enough to serve passengers from 11 flights.
The Tent City is built at the DIA to serve as holding facility for arriving passengers while waiting for the result of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab test.
Passengers, who have no 48-72 hour RT-PCR negative result, from the time of departure at their point of origins to Davao City are required to have the swab test upon arrival at the DIA. Result of the swab test usually comes out after three days to one week.
“Right now, there are 140 bed spaces in seven tents, “Tecson said. “These are just enough for now, there is a need to have more spaces in order to be able to have more flights.”
The seven tents are located just outside the DIA.
She said data showed that from July 20 to August 28, 176 passengers tested positive for the virus. Of this number, 18 are from the tent city, since other passengers were tested at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).
Passengers who tested positive were immediately endorsed to SPMC for treatment.
Tecson assured that health protocols are strictly being observed at the Tent City.
On August 27, she said the PLDT-Smart Foundation donated personal protective equipment (PPEs), disinfectant tablets, 5,000 face masks, 30 hand sprayers, and disinfectant tablets for the Tent City.
“These will help in the implementation of health protocols inside the Tent City,” she added.
She also confirmed that PLDT-Smart Foundation was preparing to install free WiFi at the Tent City for the use of the waiting passengers.
The city government is also a recipient of PPEs from the United States government.
The City Information Office (CIO), in a report, said Mayor Sara Duterte received from US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim more than 10,800 units of PPEs that include face masks (medical, KN95, N95), face shields, gloves, shoe covers, and surgical gowns during a virtual handover Aug. 26.
“We express our gratitude for the support of USAID to the City Government of Davao, the City Health Office, the Department of Health and the Southern Philippines Medical Center, as they are the recipients of the PPEs. We thank them for their support to our activities, projects and initiatives against Covid-19,” CIO quoted the mayor.
The PPEs will be distributed to the Davao City’s Rapid Response Team (RAT) and Temporary Treatment and Management Facilities (TTMF).