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Capas, Tarlac mayor says he asked DOH to find other quarantine areas

Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan of Capas, Tarlac said Sunday that he appealed to the Department of Health to look for other quarantine areas aside from the New Clark City (NCC).

For 14 days, the Athlete’s Village inside NCC was used as the quarantine facility for Filipinos repatriated from Wuhan City in Hubei, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Mayor Catacutan made the appeal upon learning that the second batch of repatriates, composed of nearly 500 Filipinos from the COVID19-hit M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship, will also be taken to the NCC quarantine facility upon their arrival from Japan on Tuesday next week.

“Pinahayag lang namin kay [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque III, dahil kasi po ay sobrang dami nito, 500… ay kung puwede hatiin ang numero,” the mayor said on Balitanghali interview.

“At least naman po para mas ma-check natin ang kahandaan ng ibang regions, ng ibang islands, kamukha ng Mindanao at Visayas, ay kung puwede paghati-hatian ng mga ‘to para sa gano’n, hindi ganon kalaki ang bagsak sa bayan ng Capas.”

Catacutan said Duque had assured them that Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija is being readied for possible use as a quarantine facility for succeeding batches of repatriates.

Earlier, the local government of Capas opposed the use of NCC as a quarantine facility, arguing that doing so would pose health risks to residents.

“No’ng first batch, nangako si Secretary Duque na this will be the first and the last. Ngayon, bigla pong dumating ang nasa [Diamond] Princess cruise ship… ang sinabi lang namin ay kung puwedeng hatiin para naman hindi gaanong gano’n kalaki ang numero,” Catacutan stressed. —Julia Mari Ornedo/LBG, GMA News