File photo of one of the Air Asia sweeper flights that brought back locally stranded individuals and OFW returnees shared Saturday by city tourism chief Aileen Cynthia Amurao on her social media account.


A total of 23 locally stranded individuals (LSI) and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) are set to be swabbed for COVID-19 testing at the Ospital ng Palawan on Sunday, June 7.

Health and city officials said this number includes eight who have tested positive for antibodies associated with coronavirus during rapid tests conducted on them upon their arrival in Puerto Princesa City.

The latest group to arrive on June 6 from Manila in two separate Air Asia sweeper flights were returnees from Metro Manila and Davao.

Assistant city health officer and incident team commander Dr. Dean Palanca in a City Information Office (CIO) live press briefing Saturday night said out of 51 passengers who arrived from Manila, one person’s RDT turned reactive to immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody.

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Of the 28 LSIs who arrived from Davao, he said, one individual’s RDT was immunoglobulin G (IgG) reactive and three to IgM.

“Yong Manila to Puerto Princesa flight ng AirAsia, meron tayong total na 51 passengers. Out of 51 na sakay, merong apat na APOR (authorized person outside of residence) at meron ding dalawa na returning overseas Filipino at 45 ang LSIs. Out of 51 passengers, meron tayong isang sabihin na nating naging reactive sa IgM dito sa ating ginagawang rapid diagnostic testing (RDT),” Dr. Palanca said.

“Nitong hapon, meron tayong pangalawang flight from Davao to Puerto Princesa City — a total of 28 passengers. Lahat po sila ay puro LSIs, so out of 28 passengers dyan, meron tayong tatlong reactive sa IgM at isang reactive sa IgG. So, meron tayong apat na nagkaroon ng reaction dito sa ating rapid diagnostic testing,” he added.

Dr. Palanca said the physical examinations conducted on all five did not show any severe problem.

All of them have been scheduled to undergo swabbing on Sunday for RT-PCR confirmatory test, he said.

“Silang lahat ay naka-schedule para mag-undergo ng swabbing for RT-PCR test bukas (June 7) at hindi lang yong ibang ito, may kasama pa yan, hindi ba yong yesterday (June 5) na mga nag-reactive din sa IgM na kailangang isama. All in all, ang mag-u-undergo ng swabbing bukas ay 23 lahat,” said Dr. Palanca.

“Kung bibilangin natin, pito ang reactive natin sa IgM, isa ang reactive sa IgG. Ngayon may tatlo tayong pasyente sa PUI facility natin na merong signs and symptoms na kasama na ring iso-swab at yong natitira nating 12 OFWs na kailangang i-swab kasi maaaring sila ay exposed talaga doon sa ating confirmed COVID-19 patient noong May 31,” he added.

COVID-19 positive case

Dr. Palanca also said the female OFW returnee who tested positive for COVID-19 has been observed to be in stable condition and without severe symptoms.

“Ang pagkakasabi sa atin ng ating mga doctors, siya ay walang lagnat, walang ubo, walang pagtatae, at napaka konti na lang or minsan wala siyang sipon. Halos sabi ko nga ay normal talaga ang pakiramdam,” he said.

He said the patient will undergo another round of examination after 14 days of quarantine.

From May 26 to June 6, the number of LSIs and OFWs who have returned to the city and Palawan from Luzon and other provinces is 526.

The first two RDT positive cases arrived on May 31; the three on June 5; and the five on June 6.

(With reports from Romar Miranda and Ruth Rodriguez)

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.