IATF still studying repatriation of OFWs in Macau, South Korea due to COVID-19 threat

Maris Federez

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has yet to come up with a decision as to whether they will also conduct repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Macau and South Korea due to the threat of the virus.

The IATF said they need to carefully study their steps to come up with a fool-proof plan to repatriate the Filipino workers in the two countries who have signified their willingness to go home.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the state of the Filipino workers in Macau and South Korea is different from those who came from Wuhan City in China and the MV Diamond Princess Cruise Ship in Japan.

Duque added that the Filipinos in Macau and South Korea do not show any symptoms and do not have to be brought to the quarantine facility in the Philippines.

“They show no symptoms. They will undergo home quarantine. So they will just be persons under monitoring and in home quarantine,” Duque said.

“If ever, if and when we will be bringing them home from Macau and South Korea. Hindi po ganitong sitwasyon ang pinanggagalingan nila. Kaya po ngayon kapag dumating sila dito kung saka-sakali we will just consider them as persons under monitoring and then home-based quarantine but these would be monitored strictly as well,” said Asec. Maria Rosario Vergeire of the DOH Public Health Services Team.

Meanwhile, eight of the 10 Filipino passengers in the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship who yielded positive for COVID-19 already arrived in the country on Thursday (February 27).

One is still in Japan, while the other one is in Singapore.

The IATF also urges public cooperation to curb the spread of COVID-19. This could be done by following preventive measures such as refraining from going to crowded places. — (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

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