MANILA — The government continues to keep track of all Filipino overseas workers (OFWs) who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
In a Laging Handa press briefing in Malacañang, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Ed Meñez made this remark after he bared that two Filipinos in Lebanon have been infected with the highly contagious disease.
“The Department of Foreign is closely monitoring the situation around the world and we commit to report the accurate information regarding the situation of our Filipinos overseas and we will act to protect and when necessary, repatriate the said Filipinos,” Meñez said.
He said the two cases of Filipinos who tested positive for Covid-19 in Lebanon are now under quarantine at a hospital in Beirut.
Aside from Lebanon, there are also Filipinos who tested positive for Covid-19 in Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Japan, he said.
In Hong Kong, the fourth Filipino Covid-19 case, despite being asymptomatic, was reported on March 8 while the third Filipino case was reported on March 5.
The number of Filipinos who have contracted Covid-19 in Singapore remains unchanged with three cases.
In the United Arab Emirates, the two Filipinos are now stable and will be released from their respective hospital facilities when they completely recover.
Meanwhile, 40 out of 80 Filipinos cruise ship crew who caught Covid-19 have recovered; 21 out of the 41 are back in the Philippines to undergo a 14-day quarantine period while the other 19 are still in Japan, but their repatriation is already being processed by the DFA.
He vowed that the DFA will assist all Filipinos who wish to return home.
On March 7, the government was able to repatriate 163 Filipinos stranded in Macao through a special chartered flight.
None of them exhibited symptoms and all of them are now undergoing home quarantine.
Meñez also said Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cook Islands, and Qatar have imposed travel restrictions on foreign tourists including Filipinos to prevent the spread of the disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) called on all countries to continue efforts to contain the spread of the virus as the global number of confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 mark.
“As we mark this somber moment, the WHO reminds all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities,” WHO said in a statement on March 7. (PNA)