Around 150 Filipinos still in Wuhan

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the consulate in Shanghai, China is already in touch with around 150 Filipinos in Wuhan City, ground zero of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

In a statement issued Sunday, January 26, the DFA said the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai has requested Filipino community leaders in Wuhan to provide assistance to Filipinos, especially tourists or those on short-time visit.

Wuhan is on lockdown in a bid to contain the infectious disease, which has killed 56 as of Sunday morning and infected 1,975 persons.

The DFA said it is closely monitoring the outbreak through its embassy and consulates general in China.

Filipinos there and in other countries were advised to take necessary precautions and follow the advice from local health authorities in their areas.

In Hong Kong, the Philippine Consulate General issued an advisory urging Filipinos to cooperate with the Hong Kong government, as it raised its response level to the highest "Emergency Response Level".

Filipinos who will require assistance from the Consulate may be reached through its hotline at (+852) 9155 4023.

In Manila, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola will convene an emergency meeting on Monday, January 27, 2020, to discuss strategies to properly respond to this health emergency.

The nCoV, which is believed to have originated from wildlife traded at a market in Wuhan, is similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars-CoV). Symptoms include cough, colds, headache and fever. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)