IATF to discuss COVID-19 testing exemption of returning fully vaxxed Filipinos
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to discuss the verification and health measures to be implemented for Filipinos fully vaccinated against COVID-19 abroad should they be exempted from testing.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government is now studying the non-requirement of COVID-19 test for Filipinos fully vaccinated abroad on their arrival in the country.
At present, the COVID-19 testing exemption is only allowed for Filipinos who were vaccinated in the Philippines. Under the latest guidelines, they will only be required to have a seven-day facility-based quarantine and will only have to undergo an RT-PCR test if they will show symptoms.
Vergeire explained that it is easier to verify the vaccination status of Filipinos who were vaccinated in the Philippines as compared to those who were vaccinated in other countries.
She said the government is still looking for ways to verify the vaccination status of Filipinos who will get their anti-COVID shots overseas.
“The DFA is coordinating with different embassies. Tinitingnan din natin ang risk classification ng isang bansa kung paano natin maisasama ‘yan sa criteria na binubuo natin. We will give information. This will be discussed in IATF this week,” Vergeire said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
(The DFA is coordinating with different embassies. We are also looking at the risk classification of other countries on how we can include them in the criteria we are creating. We will give you information. This will be discussed in IATF this week.)
Vergeire noted that health measures should also be in place especially as the country is trying to block the entry of COVID-19 variants of concern, particularly the fast-spreading Delta variant from India.
“Kailangan pagisipan maigi, pag-aralan maigi dahil nandyan ‘yung threat na pagpasok nila ay maaaring may dala silang impeksyon and that is what we are trying to avoid,” said Vergeire.
(We need to study this carefully because it is possible that they are carrying the virus when they enter the country, and that is what we are trying to avoid.)
“Ito ay pinag-uusapan ngayon and we will give information as soon as IATF discusses this on Thursday next week,” she added.
(This is now being studied and we will give information as soon as the IATF discusses this on Thursday next week.)
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