ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) – Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has appealed to the National Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (NIATF-EID) to discontinue the city’s designation as a point of referral for returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) coming from Malaysia.
She said Saturday the national government should establish facilities in the provinces of Tawi Tawi and Sulu for the ROFs instead of sending them to the city.
Shipping firms, she said, should prepare a list of the passengers and drop them at their places of origin.
Under her proposals, ROFs who are non-residents may only be accepted provided they would exit the city within three to five days.
Last year, NIATF-EID chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the mayor volunteered to make the city a transit area for ROFs from Malaysia.
However, Salazar said she has since changed her mind out of concern that the new UK-COVID variant has reached Malaysia.
She noted that the Malaysian government has scheduled the deportation of more than 5,000 deportees, most of whom would be transiting here.
Meantime, the city’s COVID-19 recovery rate has risen to 93 percent following the recent recovery of 39 patients, according to the Zamboanga City COVID-19 tracker released Saturday.
The recent recoveries put the total number of recovered cases since last year to 3,784.
This city also tallied seven new cases, according to the tracker, bringing the total confirmed cases to 4,060 as of February 10.
Of the total cases, community transmission remains the top mode of infections, at 3,152 cases.
Data also showed that this city’s active cases were at 99 in the same period, comprising mostly of community-transmitted infections.
At least 184 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded here since the pandemic broke out in March last year, the latest data said.