Returning Boholanos need medical, quarantine certificates
TAGBILARAN CITY –– Boholanos, who want to return to the island, have to be scrutinized before they can unite with their families.
The Bohol provincial government came up with stringent protocols for Boholanos stranded in different parts of the country to make sure they are not carriers of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Before returning to Bohol, they should undergo a 14-day quarantine in the place where they came from and must secure a “quarantine completion certificate” signed by the municipal or city health officer of the place of origin.
They should be negative of COVID-19 after taking a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or rapid antibody test.
A returning Boholano must also get a medical certificate from the health office of the municipality or city of origin to prove that or she does not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
Completing the requirements is an “affidavit of undertaking” that the person agrees to another 14-day quarantine in a facility prepared by the local government unit once he or she arrives in Bohol.
The province would have wanted to make the PCR test mandatory.
But Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez, spokesperson of issues related to COVID-19 in Bohol, said the province has eased its requirement since a PCR test, which costs about P8,000, is quite expensive.
“The best option is the PCR. But if it is difficult for them to have one due to budget constraints, then they could avail of a rapid antibody test which will be provided by the provincial government,” he told the INQUIRER.
The Bohol provincial government will set up a COVID-19 testing area in the nearby city of Cebu, where there are at least 10,000 stranded Boholanos.
A medical technician and two physicians will help facilitate the rapid antibody testing for Boholanos in Cebu. “The rapid antibody test is for free,” Lopez said.
Boholanos, particularly those stranded in Cebu, said some
the requirements are hard to accomplish.
Gerwin Yudelmo, 29, a stranded Boholano in Cebu, said most of the barangays in Cebu are on lockdown and it is difficult to move around.
“It seems that the local government (of Bohol) does not want us (stranded Boholanos) to return home. The requirements they want us to have are not easy. We could not even travel here in Cebu because there are no public utility vehicles,” he told the INQUIRER through Messenger.
Yudelmo, who started #ProjectHope, which helps fellow stranded Boholanos in Cebu, said Boholanos in Cebu have no means to travel to get certification from the Cebu City Health Office.
He said they just could not go around because they have no enhanced community quarantine passes.
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