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Arrest OFWs who fled COVID quarantine facilities – DFA chief

/ 08:18 AM May 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Monday called for the arrest of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who escaped fromPhilippine Coast Guard (PCG) quarantine facilities.

“Arrest them, contact trace, and test everyone they got in contact with,” Locsin said on Twitter.

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According to PCG spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo, the OFWs, some of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus, left their quarantine facility even before their test results were released.

Charges could be filed against the OFWs for violating the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Balilo said.

Locsin also suggested that photos of subpar quarantine facilities where the OFWs were transferred to should also be taken.

“(T)ake PHOTOS of their quarantine facilities and the CONDITIONS THEREIN from which they escaped. There are so many motels out there because of the odd Filipino pastime we can get the owners to reopen,” Locsin said.

All Filipino migrant workers returning to the country are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine and rapid antibody testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) upon arrival.

Around 25,000 OFWs have so far been repatriated since February amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), meanwhile, reported 2,397 COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos.  Two hundred seventy seven 277 have died while 1,294 other have recovered.

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TAGS:  , Department of Foreign Affairs, Nation, news, OFWs, Overseas Filipino Workers, quarantine facilities, Teodoro Locsin Jr
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