Filipinos repatriated from virus-hit China to be quarantined at New Clark City – DOH

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos who will be repatriated this week from China’s Hubei province, which was hit by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will be quarantined at the New Clark City in Tarlac, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday.

“We plan to bring back our fellow Filipinos here in the country as seamlessly and efficiently as possible. Procedures were set into place from the moment our OFW kababayans board the plane up until their arrival at New Clark City,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

Authorities earlier said that more than 40 Filipino workers from China are expected to arrive at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga on Saturday.

The DOH said that before the arrival of repatriated Filipinos, they will first be oriented on the quarantine process, and will be asked to fill-out health cards and other necessary documents.  

Upon alighting the plane, returning Filipinos from Hubei will be screened by the Bureau of Quarantine, Duque said.

Those who will be found exhibiting symptoms of the virus, including cough, colds, fever, and difficulty in breathing, shall “immediately be admitted as patients under investigation (PUIs) at identified hospitals.”

While asymptomatic Filipinos or those who are now showing any symptoms of the disease will be transported to the quarantine facility, Duque said.

The Health chief assured that all luggage, vehicles, and aircrafts used in the transport of returning Filipinos will be disinfected by the Center for Health Development (CHD) Central Luzon.

During the quarantine period, one room will be allotted per person to ensure the patient’s safety and convenience. The room can also accommodate a family of three.

The health department also said that quarantined persons will have limited movement inside the building.

“Packed lunch will be served and prepared for them every day within the facility,” Duque said.

He added that the DOH will be managing the entire quarantine process and that hospitals under the agency, especially those near the New Clark City, will be asked to deploy medical teams in the quarantine area.

“We will be providing the needed medical logistics including hygiene kits, disinfectant solutions, transportation, and other things that will be needed in the quarantine process,” Duque said.

Upon completion of the 14-day quarantine period, discharged persons will be facilitated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Authority in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“Rest assured that all our kababayans will be treated with utmost care and dignity as they go through the whole process of repatriation,” Duque said.

The Fort Magsaysay Drug Rehabilitation Center in Nueva Ecija was earlier reported to be among the proposed venues for the mandatory 14-day quarantine of repatriated Filipinos.

According to Duque, the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases finalized the venue as well as the protocols relating to the repatriation and quarantine process after they inspected the facility in Capas, Tarlac on Thursday.

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