DFA to repatriate Filipinos from Hubei starting next week

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday said it is ready to repatriate Filipinos in Wuhan City and the rest of Hubei Province amid health concerns brought about by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China.

In an advisory, the DFA said it is planning to bring home next week the first batch of Filipinos from Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the outbreak, and the rest of Hubei province.

The department said the repatriation of Filipinos is subject to China’s rules on disease containment, including immigration clearances, quarantine process, among others.

“Filipinos in Wuhan City and the rest of Hubei province who wish to be repatriated should contact the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai by 3 February 2020, Monday,” the DFA said.

“Upon arrival in the Philippines, Filipino repatriates will be subjected to 14 days of mandatory quarantine per guidelines of the Department of Health,” it added.

The Chinese government recently placed Wuhan and nearby areas on lockdown amid an increasing number of people being infected by the virus.

Public transport and major airport in eight cities around Wuhan City were also shut down.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a public health emergency of international concern over the virus, which has claimed the lives of 213 people and infected 9,692 individuals in China as reported by the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) on January 31.

There were also 4,812 new suspected cases reported on Jan. 30, pushing the total number of suspected infections to 15,238, according to the commission.

While a total of 1,527 patients remain in serious condition, 171 people have been released from hospitals after getting cured, the NHC said.

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