IATF OKs COVID-19 testing for inbound travelers on 7th day of quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) to move the COVID-19 testing for inbound travelers to the seventh day of quarantine.
Current protocols from the IATF mandates all inbound passengers, regardless of country of origin, to undergo facility-based quarantine upon arrival, then take an RT-PCR swab test on the fifth day of their quarantine.
“Na-aprubahan na sa IATF kahapon itong ating nirekomenda na magkaroon ng seventh day testing. No testing upon arrival, seventh-day po ang testing and completed 10-day quarantine here at the national level,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
(The IATF approved yesterday our recommendation to have a seventh day testing for travelers. There will be no testing upon arrival. The test will be conducted on the seventh day and the travelers should complete 10 days of quarantine at the national level.)
“I-e-endorse sa local government after the 10th day and yung four days dapat siguraduhin din ng local government na matatapos ng travelers,” she added.
(They will be endorsed to the local government units after the 10th day and LGUs should ensure that the travelers will complete the remaining four days of quarantine.)
The DOH earlier said it will make the recommendation citing evidence that the viral load for COVID-19 patients is still high until the seventh or eighth day of infection.
Vergeire said that following the approval of the IATF, concerned agencies will then have to draft guidelines for the new protocol before it can be implemented. She also noted that all concerned agencies have agreed that the revised testing protocol for arriving travelers should be implemented “at the soonest possible time.”
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