By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Top government officials are set to meet today, Thursday, to finalize the repatriation of Filipinos from China, the origin of the 2019 novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV ARD).
The first batch of the Filipinos to be repatriated is scheduled to arrive in the country on Saturday, February 8.
From Clark International Airport, they will be transported to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, where they will be subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Eric Domingo said they see no problem in President Duterte personally welcoming the Filipinos coming from China especially if they are cleared of any illnesses.
“Wala naman pong sakit itong mga uuwi. Wala po. Isi-screen sila bago umalis doon, tapos pagdating naman po sa atin, titignan pa rin po sila ng ating Bureau of Quarantine (Those who will be coming home are not sick. They don’t have any illness. They will be screened before leaving China, and then our Bureau of Quarantine will check them upon arrival here)” Domingo said in an interview over radio DzBB.
“‘Pag nakita naman po sila na walang sakit, wala naman pong danger (If we see that they are not sick, there would be no danger). We can take precautions naman (anyway),” he said of Duterte’s plan.
Domingo said the President may even approach or shake the hands of the returning Filipinos. “Marami naman po tayong precuationary measures na magagawa (We have several precautionary measures in place),” he reiterated.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said at least 40 Filipinos from Hubei, China will be repatriated.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Wednesday that President Duterte “wants to be there” when the Filipinos arrive.