SEVERAL overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were put into quarantine in hotels upon arrival have escaped and were later found to be positive for the novel coronavirus, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Sunday, May 17.
PCG spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said in a radio interview that the repatriates were able to escape before their laboratory test results were released.
He did not specify how many escaped and from which facility.
“May mga nakatakas sa mga hotel na 'yan at ang masama nito, lumabas ang results na positive sila. Ngayon nandoon na sila sa bahay nila. Nakahalubilo ang pamilya, ‘yung community,” he said.
He said they were already trying to locate the escapees, who may face charges of violation of Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“Iho-hold kung sakali eventually dahil may vina-violate siguro sila dito sa Heal as One protocol. May balak po na sampahan ng kaso. Iimbestigahan po namin kung sino ‘yung mga kasabwat nitong tumakas na hotel personalities,” Balilo said.
Earlier, OFWs complained of their unpleasant condition and prolonged stay in quarantine facilities.
Government has mandated a 14-day quarantine for all repatriates and foreign arrivals. This is equivalent to the incubation period for the coronavirus disease, the respiratory infection caused by the novel coronavirus or Sars-CoV-2.
Balilo appealed for cooperation and patience from the OFWs under quarantine.
He said they were coordinating with the Bureau of Quarantine for the immediate release of their test results.
The PCG said at least 18,000 OFWs stranded in Manila are housed in quarantine facilities as their home provinces have refused to allow them entry.
Of the total, only 6,000 have received their test results. (SunStar Philippines)