NegOr mulls requiring negative antigen tests for travelers anew

The provincial government of Negros Oriental is considering the possibility of requiring all travelers, vaccinated or not against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), to present a negative antigen test upon entry to the province amid the Omicron variant threat.

Capitol public information officer Bimbo Miraflor told the Philippine News Agency in an interview Wednesday that an executive order has been drafted for review and signing by Governor Roel Degamo.

“The tentative date for the effectivity of the latest requirement is on Sunday, January 16. However, until a new executive order is issued by the governor, the current travel requirements remain in effect,” he said in mixed English and Cebuano.

Miraflor said the development came about following a meeting of the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Tuesday wherein the body issued a resolution requiring travelers to present negative antigen tests valid for 48 hours within the travel period.

The move came as Covid-19 cases in Negros Oriental increased although the province has not yet reported a single Omicron variant infection.

Early this month, the province logged only 12 new positive cases but the number rose over the past few days.

“Let us just hope that we can keep the cases down at a significant level but we still have to strengthen our border control measures,” Miraflor added.

The current travel requirements for travel to Negros Oriental include a vaccination card attesting that the holder is fully vaccinated, and valid identification card.

For unvaccinated individuals, a negative antigen test result valid for 48 hours and valid proof of identification are required.

Miraflor said Covid-19 cases at the National Capital Region (NCR) are increasing daily and there are more flights now to and from Negros Oriental via the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport.

As of Jan. 10, 2022, the total caseload in Negros Oriental is 19,813, comprising 19,083 recoveries, 63 active infections, and 667 mortalities.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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