DILG allays fears repatriated Filipinos from Wuhan are not positive for new coronavirus
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday clarified that repatriated Filipinos from Wuhan who will be quarantined in New Clark City are not positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD).
DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco Densing III explained that safety protocols will be followed during the 14-day quarantine period as it assured residents in Capas, Tarlac that the Filipinos don't have the virus.
"The safety protocols are established. From arriving in the hospice village to the food and doctors (on site). (I would also) emphasize that those who will be brought in the quarantine area are not sick. They don't have coronavirus," said Densing in a radio interview.
"They will only be observed for 14 days. Let's not be worried that we are helping our fellow Filipinos, I hope everyone will understand the situation," he added.
The repatriated Filipinos are expected to arrive Sunday morning.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday said the athlete's village will serve as the quarantine area for Filipinos coming from Hubei, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus.
Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan and residents are against the decision due to fear of an outbreak in the areas surrounding the quarantine zone. A resolution was also filed on Friday by the town against the quarantine plans.
Densing said the DILG respects the resolution but the health department wiil follow the process as the repatriated Filipinos arrive on Sunday.
"We respect the resolution but this is an issue on national concern. It's an order by the president. It was approved by NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council) so the local government can't do anything with the arrival and quarantine of our fellow Filipinos from China tomorrow," he said.
Densing urged residents to remain calm since the designated area is far from residential towns. He added that the Department of Health (DOH) is prepared if someone will show symptoms of the virus.
"The quarantine site is far from Capas proper. Trust our national governent officials and doctors who are handling the process," Densing assured.
"The DOH has established a protocol if someone from the group will experience and show symptoms of coronavirus," he added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS