Bohol health official assures bus used for repatriated OFWs now disinfected
CITY, Bohol, May 6 (PIA) — The Provincial Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases Spokesperson has assured the public that the bus used by the repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Manila after they disembarked at the port to their quarantine facility at Crabhouse has been disinfected afterwards.
In a radio interview, Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez revealed that the 48 repatriated OFWS took the Unison bus from the port of Tagbilaran to their quarantine facility on April 28 as per protocol.
But Lopez emphasized that the bus had passed through a process of disinfection after the returning OFWs disembarked at the Crabhouse, where they have to temporarily undergo quarantine.
This week, social media was abuzz when reports surfaced that the bus used by the OFWs was on its normal schedule ferrying passengers the day after.
A local government’s health unit announced on their Facebook account an attempt to track those who may have taken the bus on its routes the following day, April 29.
Rumors shared on social media said that four of the OFWs on that trip had colds and coughs after they arrived here.
Colds, cough, and fever are reported symptoms indicating that a person may have contracted corona virus disease (COVID-19).
Lopez explained that health authorities had taken swab samples anew from the 48 OFWs, to be sent for laboratory testing to identify the presence of the infectious virus.
There have also been reports that among the 48 were those who need confirmatory tests, and authorities quickly denied the reports saying that these were not conclusive yet.
In a separate interview, Department of interior and Local Government Bohol Provincial Director Jerome Gonzales bared that as per protocol, the Bueau of Fire Protection (BFP) takes the task of disinfecting objects which suspected carriers come in contact with, corroborating Lopez’ statement that after the OFWs were brought to the Crabhouse, a disinfection was conducted by BFP personnel.
He added that, to be sure, another disinfection was also done by the officials of the Provincial Health Office, as a redundant process to ensure that no germs, if any, from the OFWs, survived in the bus.
Lopez said Bohol is still intent in preventing the entry of COVID-19 here, despite criticism of the Oplan Exodus.
Oplan Exodus is a long-term plan to bring back Boholanos, including those stranded by the imposed community quarantines, and returning OFWs.
Medical professionals here opposed the move as they say Bohol has yet to put up measures to contain the spread of the virus which could be carried by the returning Boholanos from areas where there are plenty of COVID-19 cases.
Since first week of May, 65 repatriated OFWs have been accepted and subjected to compulsory quarantine, despite their completion of 14-day quarantine from their places of origin as supervised by the Department of Health.
Of the total, 48 came from Manila, and 17 from Cebu. (rahc / PIA-7 / Bohol)