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Governor asserts no 14-day quarantine for coronavirus-negative OFWs, residents returning to Cebu

A PROVINCIAL ordinance has been passed supporting Cebu’s policy of not requiring returning overseas workers and other residents who test negative for the coronavirus to undergo a 14-day quarantine period as mandated by the national government.

“If need be, I will fight for Cebu. I will fight for this local autonomy,” Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia said Monday during a meeting with officials of various local and national agencies as well as GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.

The ordinance, passed by the provincial board Monday, complements the executive order issued earlier by Ms. Garcia.

Under the policy, overseas Filipinos coming home within Cebu are tested upon arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and will have to stay at least three days at a quarantine hotel until the results are released.

Those with a negative result can immediately go back to their respective hometowns while those positive will undergo the standard protocols for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.

Department of Health-Central Visayas’ chief pathologist and spokesperson, Mary Jean Loreche, said Cebu’s “one island policy” does not apply to non-residents of the province.

The governor said the 14-day quarantine mandated by the national task force against COVID-19 “doesn’t really make sense in Cebu” given that the health situation has been managed and cases have dropped.

“We can work together and we’re working effectively well here,” Ms. Garcia said.

As of May 10, Cebu province and the independent cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu had a combined 1,941 active COVID-19 cases out of the almost 55,000 total recorded since the start of the pandemic. There were 47,640 recoveries and 1,887 deaths.

Cases in the entire Cebu island had been on a decline since March.

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