Gov’t to use New Clark City as place of quarantine for returning Filipinos from China
MANILA, Philippines — The New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac used as a facility for the 30th Southeast Asian Games will be utilized as a place of quarantine for repatriated Filipinos who will soon return home from China’s Hubei province, in view of the global threat of the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD).
Duque said the facility was offered by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has finalized the protocols and procedures to be implemented for the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers.
“We plan to bring back our fellow Filipinos here in the country as seamlessly and efficiently as possible. Procedures were set into place from the moment our OFW kababayans board the plane up until their arrival at New Clark City,” he said in a press briefing.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, who was also at the briefing, said the first batch of OFWs is expected to depart on Saturday and arrive early morning Sunday.
While onboard the plane, the OFWs will be oriented on the quarantine process and will be asked to fill-out health cards, according to Duque.
Upon alighting the plane, the Bureau of Quarantine will screen all passengers. Those found to have the symptoms of the novel coronavirus will be immediately admitted as patients under investigations at identified hospitals, while asymptomatic OFWs will be transported to the quarantine facility.
The BOQ will coordinate the disinfection of all luggage and the plane used, while the Center for Health Development in Central Luzon will disinfect the vehicles used for transport.
Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said the repatriated Filipinos would be housed at the athletes’ village of the New Clark City.
During the quarantine period, one room will be allotted per person. The room can also accommodate a family of three. Their movement, however, will be limited to the building only. Packed lunch will be served and prepared for them every day within the facility.
According to Duque, the rooms also have televisions and refrigerators and are air-conditioned.
“It’s such a nice place, very nice rooms, and we believe nothing less should be provided to our kababayans,” he said. “Rest assured that all our kababayans will be treated with utmost care and dignity as they go thorugh the whole process of repatriation.”
There are a total of 178 PUIs in the country as of 12 noon Thursday. Forty-eight of these patients have tested negative for the virus although only 16 have been discharged so far.
In the global scene, the virus has infected a total of 28,256 individuals as of Thursday morning, with more than 28,000 in China where it was first detected. There have been 563 deaths so far, all recorded in China except one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong.
Edited by JPV
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