Thousands of LSIs have been tested positive of COVID-19

The appeal of the region’s officials for a month-long ban onthe return of the locally stranded individuals amid spike of COVID-19 in Eastern Visayas will be tackled by the National Inter-Agency Task Force. Photo shows LSIs from Ormoc City as they filled up forms as part of the process on returning residents.

TACLOBAN CITY – The resolution calling for the moratorium on the return of locally stranded individuals (LSIs)to the region is expected to be tackled by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF).
This was declared by Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya during a television interview aired over government-controlled PTV-4 on Monday(Sept.21).
Malaya was referring to a joint resolution approved both by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)and the Regional Task Force (RTF) on COVID-19 to temporary ban the return of the LSIs amid the ballooning COVID-19 cases of the region.
Last week, for example, the regional office of the Department of Health disclosed that about 1,551 LSIs have so far acquired the dreaded virus.
“The request of the local chief executives is now with the IATF sub-task group on locally stranded individuals and this will be forwarded to the NIATF and the decision will be announced by the chairman either by Health Sec. Francisco Duque III or Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles,” Malaya said.
Last August 25, the two regional bodies passed a resolution calling for the moratorium on the return of the LSIs to the region for the entire month of September.
“Once a decision is made, this will be announced immediately but most of the time they do grant requests from the LGUs,” Malaya said.
While the NAITF has yet to act on the call to ban temporarily the return of LSIs, there are local government units in the region which refuses to accept LSIs like the province of Samar.
Prior to the request last month of the RIATF and RTF, return of the LSIs to the region was suspended last June 28 for 14 days after cases of COVID-19 increased due to arrival of stranded individuals.
“Please be assured that the IATF is listening and considering all of the request of various RIATF including that of Region 8,” Malaya said. (ROEL AMAZONA)