Thursday, February 6, 2020

Filipinos repatriated from Hubei to be quarantined in New Clark City

Overseas Filipino Workers returning from Hubei Province in China, the ground zero of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease outbreak, will be quarantined at the Athlete's Village in New Clark City in Tarlac, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a Thursday afternoon press briefing.

Each person will be given one room, originally meant to be used by athletes training there, to stay in. After a two-week period under quarantine, the repatriated Filipinos will be discharged if found to not be infected.
However, returning Filipinos exhibiting symptoms of the novel coronavirus will immediately be admitted as Patients Under Investigation at hospitals instead of being sent to the quarantine area.

The government initially eyed the use of the massive drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija as the quarantine area, and the Palace had already announced that this was where the repatriated Filipinos would stay.

Better facilities at New Clark City
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority offered the use of New Clark City, Duque said.
He said that one room will be allotted per person for safety and convenience. The rooms are big enough to accommodate a family of three.

"The movement of the quarantined people shall be limited to the building only, and packed lunch will be served and prepared for them every day within the facility," he said.

"By the way, the rooms have televisions. Each one of them. And a refrigerator, air conditioner, it's such a nice place. Very nice rooms. And we believe nothing less should be provided to our kababayans, OFWs.”
RELATED: 42 Filipinos in Hubei ask to be repatriated amid 2019-nCoV outbreak

Repatriation flight being readied
There are at least 45 OFWs who have expressed their interest to be repatriated, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, who was also at the briefing, said.

Dulay said they are already taking care of requirements like clearances and that the Filipinos will undergo checkups before boarding the planes.

The first batch of OFWs is expected to depart on Saturday and arrive on early morning Sunday, but Dulay said this is subject to change.
The repatriation is still open for application and OFWs can still sign up by reaching out to the Philippine consulate in Shanghai. The Foreign Affairs department said it is ready for the number of Filipinos to grow.

Dulay, however, said that Chinese authorities have yet to give its clearance for the OFWs to be repatriated.
China has implemented a lockdown in Hubei's capital Wuhan City and nearby areas in order to contain the virus.