Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has reiterated that the mandatory test-before-travel requirement for Davao City-bound domestic flights will no longer be reinstated amid the rising COVID-19 cases and looming surge.
The mayor, during the Special Hours program of 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Monday, January 10, 2022, said that the Davao COVID-19 Task Force’s direction is not gearing towards the revival of the negative RT-PCR test requirement before flight to Davao City.
Davao City, she said, was among the first ones to ask for the test-before-travel restriction amid the COVID-19 surge in the past.
“Even if we had test-before-travel, it will not prevent the entry of COVID-19. It will just force people to spend on tests and force others to resort to land travel,” she said.
The mayor also said that it would be good to consider the city’s previous experience and what other areas are doing if the proposed restriction is effective.
She added, “Kaniadto, ideal ang screening kay wala may tambal, wala’y bakuna. Karon naa na ta’y bakuna, there is some sort of population protection from severe disease. Whether we have a test before travel or not, musulod man gihapon gyud ang virus. As we had experienced kaniadto, they may be negative karon because incubating pa sila and they become positive three days after pa because taas kaayo ang week identified na incubation period, which is 14 days (Before, screening was ideal because we didn’t have medicine and vaccine. But we already have vaccines, there is some sort of population protection from severe disease. Whether we have a test before travel or not, the virus will still enter. As we had experienced before, they may be negative now because they’re still incubating and they become positive three days later as the incubation period is long, which is 14 days).”
As of January 7, 2022, Davao City has administered 1,241,639 first doses or 95.52 percent of the target herd immunity and 1,173,016 second doses or 90.24 percent.
Mayor Duterte underscored that COVID-19 can infect everybody, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. “Managlahi nalang sya sa severity because ang vaccinated mahimo nalang gyud sila og asymptomatic or mild cases except for those with severe comorbidities. Maski vaccinated sila, manginahanglan man gihapon sila’g hospital (They just differ in the severity because the vaccinated will either be asymptomatic or a mild case except for those with severe comorbidities. Even if they are vaccinated, they would still be needing hospitalization),” she said.
She also said, “The benefit of travel to screen those who are positive does not outweigh the economic inconvenience that it will bring to the passengers, to the airline, and the economy of Davao City. Kaniadto, wala ta’y bakuna, kaniadto wala ta’y tambal so angay ra gyud nga heightened ang surveillance (Before we didn’t have vaccines, we didn’t have medicines so the heightened surveillance was necessary).”
Such is no longer the case today since 1,241,639 Dabawenyos already received their first doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccines or 95.52 percent of the target herd immunity and 1,173,016 got their second jabs (90.24 percent). Boosters have also been made available for 18 years old and above individuals. CIO