No rapid diagnostic testing required for Cebu workers | Inquirer News

No rapid diagnostic testing required for Cebu workers

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines  — Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia will not require rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) for employees of several businesses that will be allowed to reopen when the province shifts from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) on Wednesday, May 20.

Instead, Garcia said she would want business firms to submit a “health security plan” containing health regiments to boost the immunity of their employees.

“I think it is already in the IATF [Inter Agency Task Force ] guideline that it (RDT) is not a requirement for employees to come back for work. Testing is not mandatory,” Garcia said.


“What I require, and I hope the mayors will really impose this in the towns and cities is that they (business establishments) will submit a health plan.”


Aside from vitamins, Garcia pushed for regimens using traditional methods in boosting immunity like steam inhalation or “tuob” and drinking of calamansi and turmeric juice, among others.

“If businesses have to spend anything, it is to boost the immune system [of their employees],” she said, speaking partly in Cebuano.

Garcia signed Executive Order No. 17 on Tuesday evening, May 19, placing the entire Cebu province’s 44 towns and five cities under GCQ. Talisay City will be under modified ECQ while Mandaue City remains under ECQ until May 31.

The health security plan, according to Garcia, will be submitted by the businesses using a form. She said it will be like a pledge of commitment to make sure that the immunity of their employees is taken care of.

For example, Garcia would want the firms to place the number of employees and the vitamins or regimens they would provide for their staff.

The health plan will be on top of the other protocols like sanitation, temperature checking, and other requirements asked by the Department of Trade and Industry.


The provisions in EO 17 include allowing the operation of malls around Cebu province but air-conditioning systems will not be turned on. Garcia said this would discourage people from loitering around the malls.

Residents will also be allowed to swim on the beach of their own town only from 6 a.m. to noon.

Hotels and resorts will be allowed to reopen but only one person should stay in a single room.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, COVID-19 Testing

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