MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said repatriates from Macau will undergo “home quarantine” should they arrive in Manila without manifesting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) symptoms.
“They will all undergo an assessment to see who among them has symptoms. For those with symptoms, we have an ambulance on standby where they will be brought to referral facilities. Those who do not have symptoms, they will be advised to do home quarantine,” DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference.
Once the repatriates are sent home, the DOH will continuously monitor them, she said.
“There will be a monitoring scheme with the help of the local government units and, of course, OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) to ensure that they would undergo quarantine,” she added.
At least 163 Filipinos from Macau arrived at 4:28 p.m. in Manila on Saturday. The repatriates, a mix of undocumented workers and OWWA members, were stranded in Macau after all direct flights to the country were canceled due to travel restrictions.
A travel ban was imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on China and its special administrative regions (SARs), Hong Kong and Macau, on February 2 in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Recently, it partially lifted the restriction for new and returning overseas Filipino workers to the two Chinese SARs.
Based on the latest reports from the World Health Organization, there are 10 confirmed cases in Macau.
In the Philippines, the government has recorded six Covid-19 patients since the outbreak, with the 6th case being confirmed on Saturday.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the DOH will further enhance its diagnostic capability by expanding testing centers across the country after the Covid-19 alert system was raised to code red, sub-level 1. (PNA)