BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Provincial Legal Office was ordered by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday to take legal action against three returning residents of Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, for misdeclaration, for not stating that they came from the United Kingdom.
Lacson also said they are still verifying the two others, who also reportedly withheld information that they came from abroad.
The three, who came from the United Kingdom, where the new variant of Covid-19 was first discovered, consist of a couple, who tested positive for Covid, and a son, who yielded negative result.
Lacson said the blood samples taken from the couple will be sent today to Manila for further testing, to determine if they are infected by the highly contagious UK variant.
The three, who are now under strict home quarantine since their return to the province on Jan. 16, claimed to have been locally stranded individuals, Lacson said.
As a precautionary measure, the provincial government is requiring LSIs to undergo swab tests and then be placed in isolation pending the release of results.
The swab testing for returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers, on the other hand, is waived if they already tested negative in the RT-PCR test in Manila while being quarantined, based on the order of the national government.
Lacson, however, said they will continue to request ROFs and OFWs to undergo another swab test upon their arrival in the province.
Lacson also said they already identified storage areas for the vaccines to be purchased.
He said he expects the vaccines from AstraZeneca to be delivered either by the second or third quarter of this year.
“We are also buying additional equipment that can store up to negative 70 degrees, with the storage to be placed near the vaccination centers,” he added.
Lacson also announced that they will increase the number of vaccinators. He added that they will wait for the results of phase three of clinical trials before considering purchasing China’s Sinovac vaccines.*