Palace reminds DOTr and BoQ to increase accredited swab labs

Palace reminds DOTr and BoQ to increase accredited swab labs

Palace reminds DOTr and BoQ to increase accredited swab labsPalace reminds DOTr and BoQ to increase accredited swab labs

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang wants agencies to increase the number of accredited COVID-19 testing laboratories to prevent delays in the release of test results of those who are staying in quarantine sites.

Some returning Filipinos who are under quarantine have complained about having to pay costly hotel bills because of the delayed release of their COVID-19 test results.

The health department recently said that the release of test results takes longer because of higher demand and the reduced capacity of laboratories manned by healthcare workers who got sick.

"We continue to nudge and prompt the BoQ (Bureau of Quarantine) and the DOTr (Department of Transportation) to increase the accredited swab labs or RT-PCR labs. If there are more RT-PCR labs, then there would be more options and the release of the results would be faster," acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles told One PH Wednesday.

"Every time there is an IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) meeting, we consistently remind the DOTr and the BoQ to consistently and constantly increase the number of laboratories accredited so that our passengers will have more options," he added.

In a recent IATF meeting, the health department reported that there are 312 laboratories conducting RT-PCR tests nationwide.

Under existing travel protocols, fully vaccinated persons from "green" list or low risk countries, jurisdictions, or territories have to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours before departure. Upon arrival, they will no longer be required to undergo facility-based quarantine but they have to monitor for any COVID-19 symptom for seven days with the first day being the date of arrival.

For unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or persons whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated, they have to show a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin. They will be required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day. The passengers will also be asked to self-monitor for any symptoms for 14 days, with the first day being the date of arrival.

Fully vaccinated persons from "yellow" list or moderate risk countries, jurisdictions, and territories also have to show a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure. Upon arrival, they have to observe facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day, with the date of arrival being the first day. If they tested negative for COVID-19, they may be released to complete a home quarantine up to the 7th day from the date of arrival.

Persons from "yellow" list countries who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated have to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior to departure.

Upon arrival, they have to undergo facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test done on the seventh day, with the date of arrival being the first day. Once they test negative for COVID-19, they may be released for completion of home quarantine up to the 14th day from the date of arrival.

Individuals from "red" list or high risk countries, jurisdictions, or territories may enter the Philippines but they also have to show a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure. They will also be required to observe facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test taken on the seventh day, with the date of arrival being the first day. Once they get a negative result, they may be released from facility quarantine, but they have to complete a home quarantine up to the 14th day from their arrival date.

For individuals from "red" list countries who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated, they have to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior to departure

Upon arrival, they have to undergo facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test done on the seventh day, with the date of arrival being the first day. They may be discharged upon the completion of a ten-day facility-based quarantine even if they tested negative for COVID-19 and will be required to observe home quarantine until the 14th day, with the arrival date being the first day.

Countries, territories and jurisdictions that are in the "red" list are Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, Malta, Puerto Rico, Spain, Aruba, French Guiana, Mayotte, Saudi Arabia, US Virgin Islands, Canada, Iceland, Mozambique and Somalia.

Areas that are in the "green" list are Bangladesh, British Virgin Islands, Djibouti, The Gambia, Hong Kong, Japan, Montserrat, Oman, Saba, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Benin, China, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Morocco, Pakistan, Saint Barthelemy, Sint Eustatius, Uganda, Bhutan, Ivory Coast, Falkland Islands, Guinea, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Niger, Paraguay, Senegal and Taiwan.

All other countries, territories, and jurisdictions are included in the "yellow" list.

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