MANILA, Philippines – A section of the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center inside Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija is now being readied as a possible quarantine area for Filipinos returning from Chinese areas hit by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.
According to the drug rehabilitation camp medical chief Dr. Nelson Dancel, the DOH, with the help of some soldiers, has already started to clean up the phase 4 of the facility which could accommodate 2,500 people.
“I requested the DOH na siyempre pagka matuloy yong ano dyan paglalagakan ng mga galing ng China. Iba kasi yong mandate namin dito sa drug rehab kami eh, so the DOH will have a group of infectious experts na trained doon sa ganoong klaseng mga kaso that will handle separately don sa phase 4,” he said.
The facility is one of the five proposed sites where Filipinos from China can be temporarily housed while they undergo a 14-day quarantine as a precaution against the disease.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said they are eyeing to repatriate Filipinos from virus-hit areas in China this week.
Dansel assured that soldiers and communities surrounding the rehab camp need not be alarmed as Filipinos will be placed in a clinic, and attending medical personnel will be provided with protective gear.
He added that they have also implemented screening for their more than 100 staff, and those who have exhibited flu-like symptoms are advised to take a rest.
“We advise the staff na mag-sick leave muna, syempre virus din yon di mo alam marami tayong klaseng virus eh,” he said.
They have also suspended the visitation privileges of the families of the more than 800 individuals who are undergoing drug rehabilitation process in the center. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Danny Munar)
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