The executive director of the Bacolod Emergency Operations Center divulged on social media that 3 individuals arrived in the province last week from South Africa and were allowed entry despite the new COVID-19 variant.
Em Ang questioned how the 3 were able to pass through even with the strict requirement for S-PASS. While Ang did not mention the provincial government, it can be recalled that the provincial government insisted the requirement of S-PASS even for Bacolod residents arriving in Silay Airport to ensure proper contact tracing.
Today, November 30, Provincial Administrator Rayrando Diaz confirmed that 3 arrived in the province last week.
The 3 arrived in Silay Airport last November 23, a day before the World Health Organization confirmed that it detected the Omicron variant in South Africa, the new COVID-19 variant was declared as a variant of concern on November 24.
Based on preliminary studies, Omicron is said to have a large number of mutations, which means the risk of infection with the variant is very high.
They are currently on strict home quarantine in Calatrava, Manapla, and La Carlota City. All are being monitored at present and will be re-swabbed on Thursday, December 2, as advised by the Department of Health to make sure that they are free from Omicron variant.
But Diaz clarified that the three have passed the Bureau of Quarantine and it’s the agency’s jurisdiction to monitor them.
The three were however refused quarantine in a hotel in Bacolod City, according to Diaz.