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80 seafarers arrive in Bacolod, to undergo 14-day quarantine

80 seafarers arrive in Bacolod, to undergo 14-day quarantine
Carla Gomez - May 21, 2020

BACOLOD CITY –– Eighty seafarers repatriated due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic arrived at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. Port on Wednesday.

Some of them initially refused to be placed under quarantine, but eventually obliged.

“We told them they would have to go back to the boat if they don’t want to cooperate,” said Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.

Of the 80 arrivals, 35 are from Bacolod City and were brought to a hotel and tourist inn for their 14-day quarantine to ensure that they are COVID-19-free before they return to their families.

The 45 others from the various towns and cities of Negros Occidental were brought to the Negros Occidental Healing Center in EB Magalona town for processing.

Three of them did not want to go to the healing center and wanted to go home.

“I understand that they had been quarantined before and are eager to just go home. But they have to strictly follow our protocol,” Lacson said.

The newly arrived seafarers will undergo rapid antibody-based test and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for COVID-19, said Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, Provincial Disaster Management Program Division chief.

Caelian said another 2GO Malasakit vessel is arriving with at least nine seafarers from Bacolod City.

A Cebu Pacific plane carrying about 78 stranded Negrenses from Manila is also expected to arrive at the Bacolod Silay Airport, Lacson said.

He said some foreigners stranded in Negros Occidental would ride on the plane back to Manila.

Arrangements were also being made for a second Cebu Pacific flight to Negros.

The Bacolod City government was also preparing for the return of Bacoleños from Palawan.

Seven overseas Filipino workers from Negros Occidental and three others from Bacolod City earlier tested positive for COVID-19, while under a 14-day quarantine.

Of the 10, three had been released after having negative repeat test results, the Department of Health reported.

Lacson also announced that 15 students from the University of the Philippines Miag-ao had completed their 14-day quarantine at the Mambukal Resort in Murcia town and had been released.

They underwent RT-PCR tests and had negative results, he said.