NTF-COVID19 suspends repatriation of LSIs to E. Visayas, NegOcc, Iloilo
CALOOCAN CITY, July 2 (PIA) — The National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF-COVID19) has temporarily suspended the repatriation of locally stranded individuals to Region 8 or Eastern Visayas, Negros Occidental, and Iloilo Province until July 11, 2020.
In a statement sent the PIA-NCR, the NTF-COVID19 said the suspension, which started on June 27, is due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the region, and upon the request of the local government units of Negros Occidental and Iloilo.
According to NTF-COVID19 Chair and Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana, the decision came as Samar and Leyte witnessed an increase of COVID-19 cases, which the LGUs attribute to the influx of returning residents from Metro Manila.
Additionally, the Eastern Visayas region has already recorded three coronavirus-related deaths.
“Negros and Iloilo made the request to stop the repatriation temporarily because large numbers of LSIs are from these provinces and their capacity to receive these people is being overwhelmed,” Lorenzana said.
He explained that the temporary suspension would help the task force to establish a better procedure so that returning residents are free of the COVID-19 and also for the LGUs to improve their isolation capacities.
“The suspension shall provide us with the opportunity to put in place systems and infrastructures so that the local governments can cope with the returning LSIs,” Lorenzana said. (PIA NCR)