5 passengers with fake COVID test results caught at Davao airport

Published December 22, 2020, 8:12 AM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Five passengers from Manila were caught at the Davao International Airport (DIA) on Monday for presenting fake reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results upon their arrival.

This was confirmed by City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson who reported that the number of passengers arrested for showing fake coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test results since last week had reached nine.

Mayor Sara Duterte, in an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), said the  passengers from Manila were allegedly tested in different COVID-19 testing laboratories.

She said the passengers chose to present fake virus test results to avoid getting swabbed at the DIA.

“These people are really very dangerous because the fact that they did not want to submit themselves for testing, we would never know if they are asymptomatic.  Or, if they have symptoms, they are keeping it to themselves,” she said.

Duterte expressed concern that these passengers could cause community transmission if they managed to sneak out of the airport undetected, worsening the COVID-19 situation in the city.

She directed airport authorities to strengthen efforts in validating and checking the virus test results of the arriving passengers.

“There is a need to properly plan your travel or your trips so that if you opt to get tested at the Davao City airport – and it is free – you would still have sufficient time in your schedule to wait for the test result,” she said.

She said passengers with fake RT-PCR test results will still have to undergo the swab test.

Passengers will face criminal charges for falsification of documents, according to Tecson.

Executive Order 63 released on November 23 requires authorized persons outside residence (APOR) entering the city via air travel to present company/office ID and certificate of employment or acknowledgment of principal for labor/service (for those without employer-employee relationship); medical certificate clearance; company/office travel order; hotels and other similar accommodation establishments confirmation (APOR cannot stay in the houses of Davao City residents), if staying for more than one day; roundtrip ticket; 24 to 72-hour from date of arrival RT-PCR negative test result or test upon arrival.

It added that a mandatory 14-day hotel/home quarantine is required before they report to work if the APOR is staying for more than 14 days or residing permanently in the city. Quarantine expenses shall be paid for by the employer.

It added that returning residents traveling by land, air, or sea, including the locally stranded individuals, overseas Filipinos, and overseas Filipino Workers must present 24 to 72-hour from date of arrival negative RT-PCR test result or testing upon arrival, and must undergo 14-day home quarantine.

As of December 21, Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 11,592 COVID-19 cases in the region, with 1,915 active, 9,219 recoveries, and 458 deaths.

Of the total cases, Davao City reported 8,159, Davao de Oro – 575, Davao del Norte – 1,391, Davao del Sur – 832, Davao Occidental – 122, and Davao Oriental – 513.