More returning Filipinos test negative for COVID-19, sent home after only 3-day wait in Clark

More than 600 returning Filipinos who flew back to the country via the Clark International Airport have tested negative for COVID-19 and were sent home to their respective destinations on June 14, Sunday, just three days after their arrival.

A total of 347 seafarers from the Royal Carribean Cruise Ship from Barbados and 307 land-based returning overseas Filipinos from Dubai landed at the Clark International Airport on Thursday, June 11, and were swabbed upon their arrival. Only two tested positive and were immediately isolated and transferred to the We Heal As One Center-ASEAN Convention Center.

“Ito naman ang pinangako ng gobyerno—na hindi hihigit sa limang araw ang pagaantay ng ating mga OFWs. Nagagalak kaming makita na napakabilis ng pagdaan sa proseso ng mga kababayan natin na lumapag sa Clark,” said National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon.

“Hindi ito magiging posible kung hindi sa pagtutulungan ng ating mga partner government agencies at local government units dito sa Pampanga,” Dizon, who is also the President and CEO of the Bases and Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), added.

The opening of the Clark International Airport is part of the government’s initiative to lessen the bulk of OFW arrivals in Manila.

The quick turnaround of laboratory test results was possible due to the increase in the number of laboratories and the daily testing capacity outside the National Capital Region.

The RT-PCR tests of repatriated Filipinos arriving in Clark are processed at the JB Lingad Memorial Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga, which has the capacity to conduct over 3,000 tests per day.

Upon the release of negative results, health certificates are issued by the Bureau of Quarantine.

Since the resumption of its operations on June 5, the Clark International Airport has received a total of 1,607 repatriated Filipinos. More than 600 have been sent to the respective home destinations earlier this week, while another 346 seafarers arrived June 13, Saturday.