The country’s pandemic task force has approved the proposal to wait until the seventh day of quarantine before testing travelers who enter the country, the Department of Health said on Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Inter-Agency Task Force also mandated travelers who test negative for COVID-19 to stay in a government-approved quarantine facility for 10 days before they can be discharged. They can then move to their respective hometowns or hotels to complete the required 14-day isolation.
“This is a process para ma-ensure natin that even though nakakapasok pa rin ang ibang travelers, especially Pilipino, sa ating bansa nasisiugro natin na naiisolate natin sila nang maayos to break the chain of transmission,” she said in a media briefing.
[Translation: This is a process to ensure that even though we allow the entry of some travelers, including Filipinos, we can isolate them properly so we can break the chain of transmission.]
The revision in testing protocols was recommended by DOH. It cited the findings of experts that waiting for 7 to 8 days after possible exposure is the optimal time since the viral load is at its peak during this period.
The previous protocol was to confine inbound travelers in a facility for six days before they are tested. If they are negative, they can continue isolation in their hometowns or hotels until the 14-day requirement is met.
Source: CNN Philippines