NONE OF the 32 Filipinos repatriated from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus from China, showed symptoms of the virus upon arrival, according to the Department of Health (DoH).
“All 32 repatriates landed safely and free of any signs and symptoms, hence, they were all sent to New Clark City for close observation and monitoring for 14 days,” the DoH-Central Luzon Center for Health Development (DoH-CLHCD) said in a statement Sunday.
The repatriated Filipinos, mostly overseas workers, went through three levels of screening before coming home, the DoH explained.
They were initially checked for fever, cough and colds, and only those who were asymptomatic were allowed to be repatriated.
They were monitored during the flight and again checked for symptoms after landing.
Last week, DoH said around 40 to 50 Filipinos were expected to be repatriated.
Should anyone among the repatriates begin exhibiting symptoms, the patient will immediately be transferred to a designated hospital.
The repatriates were flown in through a chartered plane that landed at the Haribon Hangar in Clark Air Base, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.
“Upon their arrival, the Filipinos were safely and swiftly transferred from the plane into their dedicated buses, and brought to the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City in Tarlac which will be their home for the 14-day quarantine period.”
The repatriates were assisted by a ten-member team from the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai, DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs, and the DoH.
As of Feb. 8, the DoH said the number of persons under investigation in the country rose to 267, of which 230 are admitted, 13 refused admission, 19 have been discharged, while the remaining two have died of other causes.
The Philippines has so far had 3 confirmed cases: a 38-year old Chinese man, who later died; his partner, a 44-year old Chinese woman; and a 60-year old Chinese woman.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday said they are closely monitoring the spread of misinformation on the coronavirus, which has so far affected more than 34,000 people globally.
“At WHO, we’re not just battling the virus; we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing.
He said the WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) will be cracking down on misinformation online and already coordinating with social media companies to filter out false data on the virus.
EPI-WIN will also be working to deliver accurate data to a wider audience. — Charmaine A. Tadalan and Gillian M. Cortez