February 23, 2024

The Benguet Inter-Agency Task Force has requested the national IATF to mandate the strict 14-day quarantine for returning overseas Filipino workers before they are allowed to back to their respective provinces.
The request through a resolution on July 6 was made following recent cases in the province where some of the returning OFWs who have tested negative in the quarantine facility in Manila tested positive for Covid-19 when tested at the triage area at Teacher’s Camp and the temporary provincial quarantine facility in Wangal, La Trinidad. 
Gov. Melchor Diclas said there will be a guideline reiterating that returning OFWs should be swabbed for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing again once they arrive in the province.
“If possible, the 14-day quarantine should be completed not only in paper,” Diclas said.
He added once returning OFWs have undergone testing, they should not be allowed to circulate in their respective communities until their test results came out. 
“So, if they cannot be accommodated at the quarantine facility of the province, they will be brought to the quarantine facilities in their respective municipalities,” he said.
The governor said those who completed the 14-day quarantine in Manila with negative test results might not undergo RT-PCR testing, except if they show signs and symptoms of the virus.
The province currently has two quarantine facilities for returning OFWs and locally stranded individuals in Wangal. Each municipality also has its own quarantine facility for OFWs and LSIs.
The Benguet Provincial Information Office reported on July 5 that a 42-year-old male OFW from La Trinidad who arrived from Sweden on June 26 underwent quarantine until June 30 until his negative test result was released.
He then travelled to Baguio and proceeded to Teacher’s Camp on June 30 for the triage and was transported to the temporary provincial quarantine facility on July 1, where he was swabbed and was advised for strict home quarantine.
After five days, his result came out positive so he was brought to Benguet General Hospital for further treatment.   
Another returning OFW, a resident of La Trinidad, who came from the United Kingdom was also swabbed at the triage in Manila on June 25. On June 28, his test result came out negative. He travelled from Manila to the provincial quarantine facility on June 30 where he was swabbed and advised for home quarantine. After four days, his result came out positive so he was brought to BeGH for recovery. – Ofelia C. Empian