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Filipino expats can opt for Dh300 Covid test to avoid getting stuck in Manila

Kirstin Bernabe-Santos/Dubai
Filed on October 23, 2020
KT file photo

The mandatory Covid-19 screenings upon arrival are free for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). However, thousands of them are currently stranded at hotels because of delays.

Filipino expats flying home have the option to pay Php4,000 (around Php303) for Covid tests to get results in two days and avoid getting stuck in Manila.


The mandatory Covid-19 screenings upon arrival are free for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). However, thousands of them are currently stranded at hotels because of delays.


The backlogs started piling up last week when the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) stopped conducting the tests because of the Php930-million (Dh70.57 million) debt of government health insurer PhilHealth.


In its latest advisory on Facebook, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) — the frontliners now in charge of screenings — listed out the testing options for returning Filipino expats. Among them are Covid-19 tests done by private laboratories, ranging from Php4,000 (Dh303) to Php10,000 (Dh758).


Those who avail of the Php4,000 option will be able to get results in two days; Php7,000 to receive results in one day; and Php10,000 for a 12-hour turnaround.


The PRC is also carrying out tests, which cost Php3,500 for OFWs and Php4,000 for non-OFWs. Results from these screenings can be expected in two to three days.


The PCG reiterated that the free Covid-19 tests remain available for OFWs. However, with the current processing system at government laboratories, expats should be prepared to wait for at least five days to get results.


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has assured that expats won’t have to pay anything for their extended hotel stay during quarantine, as well as all their meals.


kirsten@khaleejtimes.com





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