Sarangani mulls health visa system for Covid-19 border screening

Sarangani mulls health visa system for Covid-19 border screening

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Health authorities in Sarangani province are studying the adoption of a health visa system to complement the expansion of its testing program for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani health officer, said Tuesday the proposed system will enhance the implementation of control measures and other health protocols in the area, especially in its borders.

He said it is very useful in the screening of people coming in and out of the province’s boundaries and its seven municipalities.

It will help discourage the use of fake medical certificates, including Covid-19 test results, by unscrupulous persons, he said.

The official said arriving individuals could be issued with health visas if they turn out negative in the Covid-19 screening or testing.

“They may use the visas in all the checkpoints that they will pass throughout the province,” Alejandro said in a statement.

He said several border entry points and establishments in the country have already been using the system, among them the Caticlan (Boracay) airport in Malay, Aklan.

Alejandro said they considered the adoption of the system after it was introduced to them in a meeting last week with personnel from the Department of Health-Sarangani provincial office.

He said they will present the matter in the coming days in a consultative meeting with Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon, the seven municipal mayors, and municipal health officers.

The provincial government is currently working on expanding its testing capacity for Covid-19 to ensure the immediate detection, isolation, and treatment of possible cases.

Gov. Solon earlier said they are drawing up plans for the establishment of a drive-through testing facility for Covid-19 rapid antigen screening.

As of Monday night, a total of 335 Covid-19 patients have so far recovered in the province out of the 390 cases and 14 related deaths recorded since March.

Majority of the current 41 active cases either have mild symptoms or asymptomatic and expected to fully recover from the disease. (PNA)

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