Negrense OFWs Moved To Hotel, Tourist Inn For Quarantine


Two groups of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that arrived here on April 28 are now staying in a hotel and a tourist inn, where they will spend the remaining period of their 14-day mandatory quarantine.

After arriving aboard 2GO Group’s M/V St. Leo the Great at the Bredco port, they were immediately brought to government-managed patient care centers but were later moved to private accommodations provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Zeaphard Caelian, chief of the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, said on Monday that Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has signed an agreement with the OWWA to designate Go Hotel Bacolod as a quarantine area for returning OFWs who are residents of Negros Occidental.

“The process has been completed, the agreement has been signed,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, 26 OFWs from various towns and cities in Negros Occidental were transferred to Go Hotel Bacolod after staying at the Provincial Healing Center in E.B. Magalona since last night.

Their group is comprised of 27 OFWs, not 24 as initially reported. One was tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the rapid antibody-based diagnostic test (RDT) and remained isolated in the patient care center.

The 26 who transferred to the hotel were ferried by the Philippine Coast Guard bus to this city.

Meanwhile, the other group of 28 residents of this city was first brought to the facility in Graciano Lopez Elementary School.

On Saturday, they were moved to a tourist inn on board the city government’s bus.

Four of the 28, who tested positive in the RDTs, have been isolated in a separate wing.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac has assured that OWWA will shoulder the accommodation expenses of the OFWs.

The City Tourism Office assisted personnel of the OWWA Bacolod Satellite Office in scouting for an establishment willing to house the OFWs for the remaining quarantine period.

The positive test results of the OFWs are not conclusive and still have to be validated by real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) tests.

In a letter to Cacdac, Leonardia said that with four seafarers from Bacolod yielding positive results in the rapid tests, OFWs returning to Western Visayas should comply with the minimum pre-boarding health requirements set by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force against coronavirus, and the post-disembarkation health protocols of the city.

“While these results have yet to be confirmed by swab test under the rRT-PCR method, it is an alarming development that our community might suffer from more Covid-19 infections because these OFWs were allowed to board the ship without observing health protocols,” he added. (Nanette Guadalquiver nab via pna)

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