13 returning OFWs in Cebu test positive for COVID-19 after testing negative from rapid test in Manila

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines, May 1) - Thirteen overseas Filipino workers who arrived in Cebu tested positive for COVID-19 after testing negative from rapid test in Manila, according to the provincial health office.

The 13 OFWs were among the 328 seafarers who were stranded in Manila and were allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force to travel back to their hometowns via “mercy voyages.”

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, in a press conference, said 185 of the 328 seafarers are residents of the province and tested negative for coronavirus through a rapid diagnostic test back in Manila.

Garcia, however, said 13 of them showed positive results after undergoing polymerise chain reaction test in Cebu.

The Department of Health already pointed out that rapid diagnostic tests may show false negative results.

Garcia said the infected OFWs are now under a 14-day quarantine in a hotel and assured they have not yet returned to their families since arriving on Tuesday.

The provincial health office said eight of the infected OFWs are residents of Cebu City, but they have not yet identified their exact addresses. Meanwhile, five others are from Brgy. Poblacion in Liloan, Brgy. Looc in Danao City, Brgy. Sacsac in Consolacion, Brgy. Colon in the City of Naga, and Brgy. Maya in Daanbantayan.

Cebu stringer Dale Israel contributed to this report