The Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is awaiting re-swab test results of three South African nationals who arrived on Nov. 26 amid the rising concerns on the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

Negros Oriental provincial administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said the three foreigners have gone to Manapla, Calatrava, and La Carlota City.

Diaz clarified that the three are fully vaccinated and tested negative for Covid-19 in South Africa before their arrival on Nov. 25 in Manila. They were also cleared by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to travel to Bacolod-Silay Airport and to their destination in Bacolod City.

However, he said, the three, who were reportedly on a business trip as company consultants, refused to be quarantined in a hotel in Bacolod City.

The provincial administrator noted that South Africa was one of the countries included in the BOQs Nov. 26 “red list” advisory where the Covid-19 Omicron variant was detected. Other countries on the list are Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chris Sorongon of the Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center-Task Force said they are reviewing guidelines and protocols following the new threat brought by the Omicron variant. They have also barred hotel quarantine facilities in the city to temporarily stop accepting foreigners. Ryan Sorote