Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has requested the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to direct all airlines to require all Davao City-bound passengers to submit a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of the departure date.

The RT PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) must be presented prior to check-in at the airport of origin.

In a July 14 addressed to DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade, Mayor Sara has pressed for the submission of the negative RT-PCR test by all Davao-bound passengers citing two “pressing issues”.

“We have tried our best using our own resources to make sure that we identify early those who may be COVID19 positive by instituting health screening measures for all arriving passengers,” she said. “However, we now face two pressing issues: 1) rapidly depleting resources and 2) increasing number of confirmed COVID19 cases in the region.”

The City Government of Davao, she said, has been recognizant of its peculiar situation, where the Davao International Airport (DIA) is located inside the City, serving as the gateway of a number of residents from other Local Government Units (LGUs) without their own airport.

On June 8, 2020, flights at the DIA resumed despite the pandemic.

“We intend to keep the airport open, however, may we reiterate our previous request for your assistance in mandating that all airlines require Davao-bound passengers to submit a negative RT-PCR test result within 48 hours of departure date prior to check-in at the airport of origin,” Mayor Sara said.

Davao City has been receiving Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs), and commercial flight passengers since it reopened.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Davao has recently been increasing — and based on their history of travel, many of these cases are returning individuals from Manila.

Data showed that from July 5-13, 42 cases (37 percent) of the 113 cases travelled from Manila; 36 cases (32 percent) were exposed to Covid-19 patient; 18 cases (16 percent) were community unknown exposure; 7 cases (6 percent) had community exposure; four cases (4 percent) had exposure to suspected a Covid case; 2 cases (2 percent) travelled from Cebu; 1 case (1 ni percent) travelled from Clark; 1 case (1 percent) was an OFW; 1 case (1 percent) travelled abroad; and, 1 case (1 percent) had an exposure to a health care facility.

“We hope for your urgent action on this matter in this time of pandemic,” Mayor Sara said. CIO

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