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LGUs told: Do not deny returning OFWs, locally stranded individuals

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) advised chief executives against denying entry of repatriated overseas Filipino workers and stranded individuals into their borders.

“These people need all the support so that they can be with their families in this time of crisis,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año told TIMES.

“The PNP, through the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield, is ensuring the smooth passage of these OFWs and LSIs (locally stranded individuals) across the country,” said Año, who is also the vice-chair of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

On Thursday, Mayor Sara Duterte said in an interview on the city-operated radio that they accepted 99 residents upon arrival of the mercy flight, and two of them failed the health screening. They were immediately referred to the hospital for the swabbing before they will be transported to the quarantine facility where they will remain for at least two weeks.

“Our health screening has multiple steps. If you fail, you will be referred immediately to the SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center) for a further checkup,” she said.

Meanwhile, Año said all establishments, including shopping malls, are advised to enforce the minimum health standards, particularly physical distancing and the wearing of a mask, for their customers. The DILG will not hesitate to recommend their closure if they do not comply with the omnibus guideline.

“They must ensure that customers maintain at least two meters in between,” he added.

The DILG is currently implementing the latest guidelines on localized lockdown based on the current prevalence of new cases in the entire country.

Based on the current guideline, instead of placing an entire city or province under an enhanced community quarantine, the restrictions will be contained on identified high-risk areas like barangays or houses. They will be categorized as critical zones while the adjacent areas are called containment zones.

These zones are put under total lockdown and no one would be allowed to get in and out to stop the spread of the virus.

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