4 Cebu laborers take four-hour bus ride not knowing they were COVID positive

Published August 6, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Four construction workers who were headed home to Negros Oriental last Monday, August 2, tested positive for the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and learned about it only after their four-hour bus trip.

From Cebu City, they took the bus ride and after travelling for more than 150 kilometers, they arrived in a port in Samboan town, southern Cebu.

It was only at the time that they discovered that they were infected with COVID-19.

The belated discovery of laborers’ COVID-19 infection prompted the chief of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to ask medical laboratories to do a better job of explaining the results of their clients’ COVID-19 tests.

“I believe it’s the job of the laboratories to explain the test results. They should also guide them on what to do,” City Councilor Joel Garganera said.

According to Garganera, the four laborers first worked in Mandaue City and had themselves tested for COVID-19 when they transferred to another construction site in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

After getting the results from a private medical laboratory, the four laborers proceeded to Samboan to catch a vessel on their way to Negros Oriental.

“They did not read the result of the test. In good faith, they kept the test results but when they arrived in Samboan, Coast Guard personnel found out that they positive of the virus,” Garganera said.

Based on the molecular diagnostic report, the four workers underwent real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) last August 2.

“Positive for SARS-CoV-2 (causative agent of COVID-19),” read each of the workers’ diagnostic report.

Garganera said the four construction workers were immediately picked up and are already under isolation.

Garganera advised laboratories to put up their own isolation areas and must coordinate with the concerned local government unit for the immediate extraction of patients who turn out to be COVID-19 positives.

“For those who have walk-ins, they should have isolation areas. Because people like these four laborers, they take public transportation and it’s possible that they have spread the virus already,” said Garganera.

Garganera assured that the EOC will assist laboratories in extracting COVID-19 positives out of their premises.

“Laboratories should also help us in containing the virus. Let this be a lesson to all out laboratories. The EOC will always be here to help,” Garganera said.

Garganera added that the EOC is already tracing the people who were in the bus together with the workers.