Several groups have condemned the arrest of three youth..
A provincial Inter-Agency Task Force official reported on Monday that three returning Filipinos from South Africa have been placed in isolation.
Three returning overseas Filipinos have been put under quarantine after they arrived in Negros Occidental from South Africa, where the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron was first detected and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to a report, the returning overseas Pinoys were residents of La Carlota City, Manapla, and Calatrava in Negros Occidental. They returned home on November 26.
Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force action officer Rayfrando Diaz said they were isolated and are scheduled to be re-swabbed on December 1.
Diaz informed that while the three are fully vaccinated and tested negative for COVID-19, they were put under home quarantine after a hotel in Bacolod City did not accommodate them.
Moreover, the IATF officer said that the Bureau of Quarantine had approved the entry of the three Negros residents who declared in the S-PaSS that they came from Makati. The S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage) is an online travel management system developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which is used for domestic travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of the passengers
Diaz added they were told that the three returnees came from South Africa only on Sunday. He said that the Bureau of Quarantine is in charge of checking travelers from ‘red’ countries.
A global concern
The World Health Organization warned that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus poses a “very high” risk on a global scale.
In the health body’s special session last Monday, November 29, the WHO in a technical note warned its members that if another major surge of the COVID-19 takes place brought by the Omicron variant, consequences may be severe.
“Increasing cases, regardless of a change in severity, may pose overwhelming demands on health care systems and may lead to increased morbidity and mortality,” it added.
In an effort to prevent the possible spread of the Omicron variant in the country, Philippine authorities have heeded precautionary measures by tightening border controls, as more countries detect cases of the new ‘dangerous’ variant.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has earlier announced its suspension of flights from seven European nations and several African countries due to the rising cases of the Omicron variant.