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AFP chief will return to Caballo…if needed

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 06:36 PM November 19, 2014
Gregorio Pio Catapang

AFP Chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – He shall return, if the need arises.

Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc, Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office chief, said that General Gregorio Pio Catapang, AFP Chief of Staff, would come back to Caballo Island to once again pay a visit to the peacekeepers who are on a 21-day quarantine.

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“If there’s a need for him to go back there, why not?” Cabunoc said Wednesday in a press briefing inside Camp Aguinaldo. “As long as there is an approval from the Department of Health.”

On Sunday, Catapang and Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin, together with their respective staff members, visited the 132-strong Philippine Contingent from Liberia which sparked strong criticisms that the AFP chief breached quarantine protocols.

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Catapang and Garin did not wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) that would protect them from viruses, including the dreaded Ebola.

The peacekeepers, who came from Ebola-hit Liberia, are staying on Caballo Island for 21 days as a precaution.

Cabunoc, though, assured that the peacekeepers are free of the virus as Pakistani medical staff of the United Nations, who did not wear any PPE’s, tested them before they left Liberia for the Philippines.

“Before they left, the UN conducted a medical assessment on Ebola screening, and the Pakistani doctors did not wear any PPE’s,” Cabunoc said. “The Chief of Staff showed that he is not afraid to be with them, especially that the peacekeepers are free of the Ebola’s symptoms like high fever.”

He added that the peacekeepers are in “good condition,” except for one who is suffering from sore throat and has been in the care of the medical staff stationed on the island.

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TAGS: Armed Forces of the Philippines, Caballo Island, Ebola, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Nation, Quarantine, return
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