Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on February 6, 2020, the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac will be the quarantine area for repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Hubei province in China.
“The BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority) offered the use of the new Clark City as a quarantine area for repatriated Filipinos. Procedures were set into place for the moment our kababayans board the plane up until their arrival at the Clark City,” Duque said in a press briefing at the Department of Health (DOH) central office in Manila.
Duque described the new quarantine site as “more strategically located” compared to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija which was the first choice for the whole quarantine process.
“And, the facilities are more complete, the ambiance is very nice, neat, it’s an open space and the rooms have individualized toilets. Unlike in Fort Magsaysay where the toilets, you would have to share,” he said.
Duque said the repatriated OFWs will be oriented about the quarantine process and will be asked to fill out health cards while on board.
Centralized processing of all immigration documents will also be done, he added.
“Upon alighting the plane, the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) shall screen the passengers, all OFWs with symptoms shall be immediately admitted as patients under investigation at identified ready hospitals while asymptomatic OFWs will be transferred to the quarantine facility,” Duque said.
The BoQ will also coordinate the disinfection of all the luggage and plane used while the Central Health Development Central Luzon will be in charge of disinfecting the vehicles used for transport.
“During the quarantine period, one room will be allotted per person to ensure patient safety and convenience. The room can also accommodate a family of three. The rooms have televisions, air conditioners, and refrigerators,” Duque said.
Since the OFWs will be provided packed meals and other needs, Duque said their movement shall be limited to the quarantine building only.
“The quarantine group will still have to come up with a list of do’s and don’ts, we’ll wait, and I don’t want to preempt their announcement. But certainly, there will be restrictions for control and ensuring that they will not be contagious…the end goal is that they don’t put other people at risk,” he added.
The DOH will be in charge of the management coordination and logistics of the entire quarantine process.
All DOH hospitals in the region will be in charge of the deployment of medical teams in the quarantine area.
“We will be providing the needed medical logistics including hygiene kits, disinfectant solutions, transportation, and other things that will be needed in the quarantine process,” Duque said.
Upon completion of the 14-day quarantine period, the discharge of the repatriated OFWs shall be facilitated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Authority in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs. (Ma. Teresa Montemayor, PNA)