Dr. Butch Ong of the OCTA Research says that the Local Government should still impose the testing requirement for tourists arriving, emphasizing the importance of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
"Kahit anong lalawigan o siyudad, kailangan talaga natin ng testing...dahil marami sa kababayan natin ay asymptomatic," Ong, an expert in monitoring and evaluation of COVID-19 trends said.
(Testing is still needed to be imposed by provinces and cities because many of our fellowmen turn out to be the asymptomatic type)
"Iyong palipat ng isang tao from one area to another na asymptomatic could become a problem kapag mataas ang viral load ng traveler na iyon," he said.
(An asymptomatic person that travels frequently from place to place will become a problem if that traveler has a high viral load.)
Dr. Ong's statement came up after the Cebu Government decided to dropped the swab-test requirement for incoming tourists entering the province. The executive order signed by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia states that the only requirement tourists needed is a valid medical certificate seven days before their arrival at the city proof of a pre-booking at their chosen resort or hotel that is accredited by the provincial task force, and passing the health screenings at their points of departure as well as at their arrival.
Dr. Ong noted that in Cebu, the general tune of the COVID-19 trend is on the rise but at a "slow" pace. He said that its R naught (the reproduction rate of the virus) is at 1.5. R naught represents the number of people that may be infected with a confirmed case. Preferably, it should stand at one or less. If ever it is higher, it means that the community transmission is significant or high.
Furthermore, he said that the positivity rate of the province is at 15%. Meaning, 15 for every 100 people are tested to be positive for the virus. On the other hand, Cebu's local health system is more than capable enough to accommodate the COVID-19 patients in their hospitals.
Also, OCTA research monitors the Metro Manila cities as well as the Northern Areas including the Kalinga province and Baguio City more because of the recent spike of infected people they had recorded.
Source: CNN Philippines