INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año assured on Sunday, February 9, that all preventive measures are being implemented at the Athletes' Village in Capas, Tarlac, where 30 Filipino repatriates from Wuhan, China are under quarantine.
“While we take note of the sentiments of Capas, Tarlac LGU and its residents, the National Government has already decided out of necessity and of national interest to use the Athletes’ Village in NCC (New Clark City),” he said.
“They are also Filipinos that deserve our help and understanding. This is the time that we must help each other. There is no risk to the residents of Capas, Tarlac. How could that be when they will not even see a glimpse or shadow of our OFWs in the athletes’ village,” he added.
Thirty Filipinos repatriated from Wuhan, including an infant, arrived early Sunday morning from the virus-stricken city in China. They are under quarantine for the next 14 days, the incubation period for the respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Wuhan is the epicenter of the disease outbreak caused by the new coronavirus. As of Sunday, the death toll from the new virus has increased to 811, exceeding the 774 persons who died of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), a disease also caused by a coronavirus.
In the Philippines, three visiting Chinese nationals tested positive for 2019-nCoV. One had died of pneumonia caused by the virus. One is still confined at the San Lazaro Hospital while the third has returned to China.
As part of security measures, Año said only those with normal health status shall be allowed to travel back to the Philippines from China.
Those who will manifest symptoms during a screening will be brought immediately to the hospital and will not be allowed to board the aircraft going to the country.
“In other words, only those persons without symptoms or manifestations shall undergo the mandatory 14 day quarantine,” Año said.
Both the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Health (DOH) also assured earlier that quarantine protocols are in place and a three-level health screening is being implemented.
The DOH will be in charge of the management coordination and logistics of the entire quarantine process.
The agency tapped all government hospitals in the region for the provision of medical teams in the quarantine area.
Upon completion of the 14-day quarantine period, discharge of repatriates will be facilitated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Authority in coordination with the DFA. (SunStar Philippines)