FACILITIES AT the New Clark City used during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will be used as quarantine site for Filipinos repatriated from Hubei, China amid the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV).

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque, in a briefing on Thursday, said the facilities inside the Athletes’ Village were offered by the Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

The voluntary repatriation was recommended by the DoH due to the rising nCoV cases, now at about 28,000 worldwide with nearly 600 deaths, mostly in China.

“We want to bring back our fellow Filipinos here in the country as seamlessly and efficiently as possible. Procedures were set into place from the moment our OFW (overseas Filipino worker) kababayans board the plane up until their arrival to the New Clark City,” he said.

The returning Filipinos will be in isolation for 14 days and screened by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

Those found with symptoms will be considered persons under investigation (PUIs) and will be admitted in accredited hospitals.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) representatives are currently on the ground in Wuhan to facilitate the repatriation.

Mr. Duque also announced that there are 178 PUIs across the country as of Thursday.

Of the total, “146 are currently admitted and isolated, 10 have refused admission, and 16 have been discharged but are under strict monitoring.”

There have been three confirmed cases in the Philippines, all Chinese nationals, including the first nCoV-related death outside China. — Gillian M. Cortez