Wed. Apr 14th, 2021

MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the proposed guidelines on the repatriation of Filipinos working in cruise ships, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Thursday.

“The interim guidelines on the repatriation of Overseas Filipinos working in cruise ships as proposed by the DOH (Department of Health) is hereby approved,” Nograles, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a virtual presser aired on state-owned PTV-4.

Nograles said the Bureau of Quarantine was directed to update the existing algorithm for the triage of patients with possible Covid-19 infection in ports of entry.

He said the triage tool being used to evaluate patients’ medical condition within a short time should apply to land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who may be repatriated through the efforts of the national government.

Nograles said the IATF-EID directed its sub-technical working group to convene to formulate guidelines to manage and ensure the welfare of repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The sub-technical working group, Nograles said, is composed of the departments of Labor, Tourism, Transportation, Foreign Affairs, Local Government, and Health.

Nograles also said local government units should allow the unhampered transit of OFWs who completed the 14-day facility-based quarantine or are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

On March 28, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said over 4,000 Filipino crew members are expected to return home in the next three weeks.

Locsin, however, said there were concerns over the scheduled repatriation of Filipino crew due to the limited available facilities that can accommodate them as they undergo mandatory quarantine.

Nograles said the New Clark City Athlete’s Village would continue to serve as the “temporary” quarantine site for Filipino repatriates.

“The New Clark City Athlete’s Village shall continue to be designated as a temporary quarantine facility,” he said. (PNA)

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