By J. Jala | 02:53 PM September 25, 2020
The Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) hybrid edition opened Wednesday at the Bellevue Resort in Panglao Island, led by Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (virtual), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) chief operating officer (COO) Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones (2nd from left) and Bohol Governor Arthur Yap (2nd from right) with DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon, Jr.(right) and DOT Assistant Secretary for Product and Market Development Verna Buensuceso (left). Photo courtesy: Philippine Tourism Promotions Board

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap on Friday confirmed one delegate of
Philippine Travel Exchange 2020 (PHITEX) which is held in Panglao Island has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

“51 Phitex Delegates took their RT-PCR swab tests yesterday (Sept. 24). The results were all negative except for one person, who carries a certification that he was a recovered patient since August 11,” Yap’s statement read on Friday, September 25.

He said the recovered patient was well enough one month ago to have donated blood sample to be used in the research to develop a local vaccine.

Prior to departure, he had RT-PCR and Antigen swab tests in Manila on 18 September, which both yielded negative results.

Yap said Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) chief operating officer Anthonette Velasco-Allones consulted Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvaña, M.D., DTM&H, FPCP, FIDSA, an infectious disease specialist and molecular biologist at the University of the Philippines and Philippine General Hospital, who gave the opinion that what the RT-PCR Lab detected were remnant strains of the virus and if asymptomatic, is most likely to be non-contagious.

Dr. Salvana cited US Based Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols which state that people who are tested positive for Covid do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again.

Dr. Ellan Salada and Dr. Antoinne Chatto of the Gallares Hospital have been consulted and they agree with the analysis.

The province of Bohol is this year’s host of PHITEX, the government’s largest annual travel trade event from Sept. 19 to 28, 2020 in Panglao.

There were around 50 participants composed of sellers and personnel from TPB.

The Bohol Inter Agency Task Force (B-IATF)
crafted health and safety protocols that will be used in the duration of the event.

All delegates for the event undergo a five-day quarantine period prior to the testing for Covid-19 infection through the PCR test.

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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