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DOT: COVID-19-positive ROF skipped quarantine, attended party

The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday confirmed that a returning overseas Filipino from the United States did not undergo hotel quarantine and even attended a party in Makati, with fellow attendees later testing positive for COVID-19.

In an interview with Super Radyo dzBB, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the individual was able to skip the five-day mandatory quarantine due to "connections."

Puyat added that the returning Filipino was even able to attend the [arty, which was held the day after she arrived from America.

"Nagyabang pa na may connection pa siya. Kasi nagtatanong ang mga kasamahan bakit kakarating lang the day before, pero bakit nandun na siya sa party," she said.

(She even bragged that she had connections. Because partygoers were asking why she was able to attend when she had just arrived from America.)

What's worse, the individual was diagnosed with COVID-19, Puyat said.

"Ang malas du'n nag-positive on the fifth day at yung mga kasama niya nagkasakit din [What's worse is she tested positive on the fifth day and her fellow party-goers got sick also]," Puyat also said.

The Tourism secretary said that they have received evidence from partygoers on that the quarantine skipper was at the party.

"Ginawa ng mga kasama niya, nagpakita ng signed affidavit, mga pictures, videos, Tiktok nandodoon nga [Her colleagues showed signed affidavits, pictures and videos and TikTok that showed she was there]," said Puyat.

Puyat said the woman has confessed to leaving the quarantine hotel.

"Inamin niya na hindi siya naka-check-in... Siyempre nahuli, umamin na rin [She already confessed that she did not check in. Of course everybody caught her in the act, so she already confessed]," she said.

Contact tracing on the individual is also underway, Puyat noted.

Puyat added that the hotel which allowed the individual to forego the quarantine period will also face charges.

"Ang aming kakasuhan ang hotel. Of course, may due process, we will wait three days explanation ng hotel," said Puyat.

(We will  also file charges against the hotel. Of course there will be due process, we will wait for their explanation.)

The DOT already asked the hotel in question to explain how an individual was allowed to leave a quarantine hotel before finishing the prescribed quarantine period. — BM, GMA News