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48 LSIs at Rizal stadium positive for coronavirus

Forty-eight locally stranded individuals (LSIs) at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila tested positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in rapid tests, an official said on Thursday.

Hatid Tulong Program lead convenor Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo said the patients positive for COVID-19 were part of the more than 8,000 stranded individuals cramped inside the sports stadium. They have already undergone swab testing and are quarantined in the isolation facility at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex, he added.

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Under disinfection

“The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is under disinfection and decontamination,” he said, after cases of the deadly coronavirus disease were recorded in the area.

Encabo said 6,583 LSIs had been sent home to their provinces under Hatid Tulong’s second batch of returnees.

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The program, which offers transport assistance for LSIs, is run by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

As of Thursday, there are no more LSIs at the stadium as the remaining stranded individuals have already boarded a ship bound for Mindanao, Encabo said. LSIs whose destinations have an existing moratorium on returning residents were brought to a temporary shelter in San Jose Del Monte town, Bulacan province, the official added.

In the House, lawmakers on Thursday called out the DILG for its alleged failure to address the problems confronting LSIs, which have been blamed for the outbreak of COVID-19 in the provinces.

“How can it be that the department in charge is not even here to shed light on the problem that the entire country is facing? If this is the kind of ineptitude that they are showing, there is no surprise that we are having a worsening problem,” said Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19 Philippines, health crisis, infection, LSIs, pandemic, Quarantine, Rizal Memorial Stadium, stranded individuals
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