Tue. Mar 2nd, 2021

MANILA — Five (5) out of the 445 Filipinos repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan are showing signs of COVID-19.

All of the repatriated Filipino workers are placed under quarantine New Clark City Sports Village in Capas.

Last Tuesday they have developed symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) said.

But fortunately, two of them have already tested negative for COVID-19, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III announced at a press conference Friday.

The remaining three repatriates categorized last Wednesday as persons under investigation (PUIs) are all males, aged 39, 34 and 27, who complained of “throat discomfort,” but none had fever.

As it is, two already tested negative for COVID-19, but they all remain in a health facility for isolation and management.

“While we are still waiting for the other test results, we assure the public that our referral hospitals are well-equipped and prepared to handle COVID-19 cases once they arise,” Duque said.

“Health response team at the quarantine facility is being extra cautious to prevent further health risks.”

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) reiterated Friday that it will not extend financial assistance to the repatriates from Japan if they fail to complete the 14-day quarantine at New Clark City in Capas.

OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that repatriates may not be entitled to avail financial and transportation aid without a Certificate of Completion of Quarantine which is issued at the end of the isolation period.

The OWWA has announced cash assistance of P10,000 to each seafarer from the Diamond Princess.

Aside from this, it was gathered that OWWA is also providing crew members transport service to their home regions and P20,000 worth of livelihood grant for those who decide to stay permanently in the county.

In another report by the Philippine Star, Health Assistant Secretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire claimed the DOH and local health authorities in Cebu City are keeping a close watch on some Koreans who arrived there from Daegu City last Feb. 25.

Daegu in North Gyeongsang province is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea.

“All of these travelers were advised to stay in their hotels for quarantine but some of them opted to leave the country,” Vergeire said.

The tourists went to two places in Cebu, so they are in two different hotels, she said.

The Philippine government has started banning foreign nationals coming from North Gyeongsang to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

In a four-page resolution released yesterday, the Inter-agency Task Force for Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF) said that any person coming North Gyeongsang is temporarily banned from entering the Philippines, the daily said. (IA/sovereignph.com)

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