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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Eight returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from a red list country who recently arrived in the municipality are now undergoing close monitoring by health workers to ensure that they are free from the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the new Omicron variant even if they already tested negative for the deadly virus.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda claimed that the returning OFWs came from Italy, one of the identified red list countries, and are now being subjected to contact tracing and monitoring pursuant to the advisory from the health department.
However, he admitted that the returning OFWs were able to initially complete their 10-day facility-based quarantine in Metro Manila prior to their arrival and they were also able to present to the health workers their negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results.
The local chief executive stated that 3 of the returning OFWs are from barangay Balili, 2 from barangay Tawang and 1 each from barangays Poblacion, Pico and Puguis.
According to him, the local government was informed by the health department on the list of the returning OFWs for contact tracing and monitoring to ensure that they will remain free from the virus and its variants while in the municipality as the said OFWs were from the red list countries.
He stipulated that the municipal government understands the concern of the health department on the health status of the returning OFWs because of the emerging threat of the Omicron variant that is why health workers are working round the clock to monitor the health status of the said OFWs who were able to rejoin their families after completing their quarantine.
The mayor expressed hope that the families and relatives of the concerned OFWs will understand the conduct of the close monitoring of their health status because it is part of the prescribed regulations that was crafted by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases to avoid the occurrence of unnecessary incidents that might cause future surges in cases considering that the OFWs came from the red list countries.
While the municipal government is ready for whatever eventuality that will transpire with the emergence of the COVID-19 variant, Mayor Salda asserted that local officials and health workers do not want another surge to happen in the future as it poses a serious threat to the state of the local health care system and the frontliners.
He disclosed that many of the town’s isolation centers were already freed up with the numerous recoveries that had been reported over the past several weeks after the prevalence of the more infectious Delta variant that is why a number of the same had already been closed to allow the health workers to be able to take a break and for them to be able to deal with other illnesses posing a threat to the health condition of people.
Salda revealed that efforts are being done by concerned government agencies and the local government to sustain the gains of containing the further spread of the virus to allow the gradual and safe recovery of the heavily impacted economy over the past 22 months. By HENT