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Hero’s welcome set for Filipino peacekeepers as quarantine ends

/ 05:02 PM November 26, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–A hero’s welcome is set next week for the peacekeepers from Ebola-stricken Liberia as their 21-day quarantine on Caballo Island ends on December 3.

Military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc on Tuesday said Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. will welcome the peacekeepers at Camp Aguinaldo next Wednesday.

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The Filipino peacekeepers from Liberia. INQUIRER.net PHOTO

The Filipino peacekeepers from Liberia. INQUIRER.net PHOTO

“We are still discussing the details but it will happen in an afternoon and it will be witnessed by their family members and other military personnel. It will also coincide with the lighting of our Christmas tree,” Cabunoc told reporters.

The peacekeepers will be awarded with a UN Service Medal.

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The first batch of the 133 peacekeepers–108 from the military, 24 from the Philippine National Police and one from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology–arrived on Nov. 12. They were immediately brought to Caballo Island for a three-week quarantine.

A peacekeeper who developed a fever on the second day was brought to a government hospital in Muntinlupa City, but he turned out to have malaria, not Ebola. After receiving treatment, he was brought back to the island to finish his quarantine.

Another peacekeeper was also brought to V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City on Monday night for chest pains after playing basketball.

Cabunoc declined to give further details about the health condition of the said peacekeeper, as they are only limited to answer the administrative aspects of the quarantine.

Four more peacekeepers who stayed behind to pack the equipment of the team arrived in the Philippines Saturday night via commercial plane. They were kept for quarantine at the V. Luna Medical Center upon the recommendation of the Department of Health.

The four peacekeepers are being kept in the infectious ward of V. Luna, Cabunoc said.

All the peacekeepers from Liberia had been declared “no risk” and had passed the Ebola screening by the United Nations before their repatriation.

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TAGS: Ebola, Liberia, peacekeepers, Quarantine
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