THE local Inter-Agency Task Force on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) announced that there is no plan to lift the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) requirement upon entry into Zamboanga City amid the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, local IATF chief implementer, said the RT-PCR requirement will serve as an added measure against the further spread of the virus, especially among travelers.

"Considering the surge in Covid-19 cases, it is very important to require negative RT-PCR test result in entering this city," said Apolinario, who is also the City Disaster Risks Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) chief.

The Covid-19 data tracker showed that there are 16,657 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Zamboanga City, with 13,706 recoveries, 2,199 active cases, and 752 deaths as of October 5.

Apolinario said both swab and saliva RT-PCR test are accepted upon entry into the city.

But he said the negative RT-PCR test result is only valid for five days beginning on the day of the swab or saliva test. Another requirement is a valid identification card (ID).

He said the RT-PCR result and the ID need to be submitted to the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) travel management system ( three days before travel.

He added that once the requirements are checked and validated, a Travel Coordination Pass (TCP) will be issued to the applicant for travel.

Meanwhile, face masks are distributed to residents of Barangay Kasanyangan in line with the City Government's heightened efforts to implement minimum health and safety protocols.

The residents were also advised on how to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has tasked Councilor Tungku Hanapi, representative of the indigenous sector in the City Council, to spearhead the advocacy in Barangay Kasanyangan. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (