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All OFWs returning to PH to undergo rapid testing for coronavirus

/ 10:10 AM April 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — All overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) returning to the Philippines are now mandated to undergo rapid antibody testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said.

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According to IATF-EID spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, all sea-based and land-based returning OFWs “shall be subject to rapid antibody testing for COVID-19 in accordance with Department Memorandum 2020-0180 issued by the Department of Health.”

Sea-based Filipino migrant workers onboard cruise ships who have been issued with a Clean Bill of Health by the Bureau of Quarantine, upon presentation of a certificate of completion of 14-day quarantine issued at the point of origin, will nevertheless be  subjected to a rapid antibody testing in the Philippines.

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Aside from the mandatory testing, OFWs are also mandated to undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine upon their arrival.

Before this directive from the IATF-EID, OFWs repatriated amid the COVID-19 pandmic were either transported to different facilities for their mandatory quarantine or were just required to undergo a home-based quarantine depending on the assessment of the BOQ.

Latest figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) showed that a total of 990 overseas Filipinos across 42 countries have contracted the disease.

Of the number, 584 Filipino patients are still undergoing treatment while 263 have already been discharged from hospitals or have recovered.

There are 143 fatalities recorded so far.

Edited by JPV

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TAGS: coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Global Nation, IATF, News, OFWs, Overseas Filipino Workers, rapid antibody testing
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