DIPOLOG CITY, July 7 (PIA) - Around 56 Zanortehanons have returned to their respective hometowns in Zamboanga del Norte province after being stranded for several months in Manila since the start of lockdown due to the COVID-19 crisis.
They were among the thousands of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who were sent home through the Hatid Tulong initiative of the government.
Onboard the MV St John Paul of 2GO from Manila (via Cebu), all of the LSIs arrived at Cagayan de Oro Port around 1 o'clock in the morning today and were each picked-up by their respective provinces.
After undergoing health and safety protocols at designated holding areas, they were ferried to each of their municipalities for the 14 days mandatory quarantine.
"We no longer allow home quarantine as of this time. All of the arriving LSIs will have to be quarantined at the isolation facilities prepared by the local government units," said Atty. Goldie Love Gonzales, OIC provincial information officer.
The Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) assures the public that all health and safety protocols for the arriving LSIs were strictly observed.
In an earlier report, the LSIs have undergone a rapid anti-body test administered by health workers from the Department of Health and Philippine National Police Health Service. Registrants who passed health screening were granted a travel authority by the PNP at the venue.
Eighteen (18) more LSIs are expected to arrive in the province to make up for the 74 total individuals as reported by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). (RVC/EDT/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)