ILIGAN CITY —– A seaman who arrived in Ozamiz City on April 28 has tested positive in a COVID 19 rapid test.
One of five sailors who arrived onboard the St. Michael the Archangel of 2GO Shipping at Ozamiz City port past 9:00 PM on Tuesday, the group was part of the over 300 seafarers repatriated to the country when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.
The sailor who tested positive in the rapid test done at the pier was immediately whisked by his local government unit to an isolation area.
Misamis Occidental Governor Philip Tan announced in a social media post the result past 9:00 AM on Wednesday, April 29, saying male sailor would still have to undergo a swab test “as recommended by our doctors to confirm the result of the rapid test”.
“He is now in one of our holding centers alone in one room but he is okay. We hope in the swab test, it will be negative,” Tan said.
On Monday, Tan was criticized online for social media post announcing that the provincial government of Misamis Occidental and the local government of Ozamiz agreed not to let the seafarers disembark because their arrival was not cleared with the province of Misamis Occidental and the local governments (LGU) of Ozamiz City, Sinacaban, Jimenez and Plaridel where the seafarers were headed to from Ozamiz pier.
Tan said Misamis Occidental would provide funds to the five seamen through their relatives to help them through their quarantine and have them repatriated after passing through the process for the safety of Misamisnons.
In the guidelines of Tan’s executive order that placed the entire province of Misamis Oriental, including Ozamiz City, under general community quarantine, overseas workers and or residents of the province who are stranded in places outside the province must secure “written clearances from the governor of his authorized representative” before they are cleared to enter upon presenting a certification of completion of the 14-day quarantine period from the municipal health office or city health office where they come from.
Thereupon the LGU where the person is going home to will meet his at the border and bring him directly to the isolation facility for 14-day quarantine.
However, Tan changed his decision on Tuesday afternoon saying the provincial government is allowing the seafarers to disembark following their compliance with the health protocols.
The decision was reached following consultations with the provincial health office and the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. General Medical Center (MHARSG MC), the Department of Health (DOH)-accredited hospital where COVID suspect cases are admitted.
“We will send a medical officer who will conduct a health check and rapid test to all five passengers, check their documents and after clearance we will send them directly to their LGU holding facilities,” Tan said.