Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Latest Updates in the Philippines


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Image Credits: Nonie Reyes | BusinessMirror
Image Credits: Nonie Reyes | BusinessMirror

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Sunday February 9, 2020, that four more Filipinos tested positive on novel coronavirus (2019 NCoV). These four are among the passengers of the cruise ship in Japan ‘Diamond Princess’ that is currently being quarantined in Yokohama since February 4. The agency also said that the four are now being treated in a hospital, together with two other confirmed positive. There are more than 500 Filipinos still on-board the ship that would remain quarantined until February 19.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo stated in an interview that the Philippine government is ready to shoulder all the necessary expenses for the tests, confinement, medicines, and other related costs for those passengers being quarantined for 14-day period for as long as the treatment will be in a government hospital. According to Panelo, “We are the ones shouldering the costs but if they get admitted in a private hospital, they’ll really spend. But if it’s a government hospital, I don’t think they will.”

On the other hand, through the help of the DFA, 30 repatriated Filipinos also arrived on Sunday from Wuhan, China, the place where the 2019 nCoV was supposed to have been originated. The chartered flight which included 29 adults and 1 infant landed yesterday at the Hangar in Clark Air Base. Among those who were repatriated were 5 medical team members from the Department of Health (DOH), 3 members from the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA), and 2 members from the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai.

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The 30 repatriated Filipinos were then transferred to the buses and were brought to the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City in Tarlac. These OFW’s will be quarantined on the said area for 14-days and will also receive appropriate care to be shouldered by the government.

However, the municipal council of Capas, Tarlac unanimously voted to oppose the use of New Clark City (NCC) as a quarantine area for these repatriated Filipinos. This is due to the concern of Capas Vice Mayor Roseller Rodriguez and others that using the area as a quarantine site might adversely impact the reputation of NCC as a leading site for the region’s commercial and tourism center. As a response, Panelo guaranteed the public of Capas that the government will ensure all the necessary measures and protocols so that the communities surrounding NCC will not be at risk.   

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Alter Picar

Alter Picar is a writer, translator, self-published author, songwriter / musician, community worker, non-profit organization manager (volunteer), mental health advocate / educator, librarian, and organic gardener.

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