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Pinoy Abroad

About 19,500 OFWs already repatriated since ECQ —DFA

The Department of Foreign Affairs reported that as of Saturday, 19,466 overseas Filipino workers have already been repatriated since the start of the enhanced community quarantine.

Of this number, 15,130 are seafarers from 75 cruise ships, DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said at the Laging Handa public briefing.

Meanwhile, 4,336 were land-based OFWs.

"Marami pang parating in the next few days. Uuwi pa ang libo-libo nating mga kababayan galing sa ibang bansa," Dulay said.

As per the Department of Health guidelines, OFWs who were quarantined and traveled from cruise ships that were not infected by COVID-19 could already be considered as having undertaken their 14-day quarantine, Dulay said.

Land-based OFWs will be brought to designated quarantine facilities.

The OFWs will then be given a certificate of completion that they have already undergone quarantine, before they could go back to their provinces.

Dulay said the Sub-Task Group (STG) for the Repatriation of OFWs is already coordinating with the different local government units that have different quarantine guidelines for returning OFWs. 

Meanwhile, the We Heal As One Center-World Trade Center (WTC) on Friday accomodated returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine.

"In coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, a total of 58 deportees from Abu Dhabi are presently quarantined at the WTC," Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said in a statement.

"We also expect that by Saturday, April 25, 2020, additional 340 repatriates and Foreign Affairs officers from Maldives will arrive and will occupy the same facility," Villar added.

The quarantine center is a fully-airconditioned facility with 502 beds, to offer comfort and safety to the OFWs and DFA officers during their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

The WTC will be managed by 18 military doctors, 30 nurses, and 60 medical aides, said the AFP.

The We Heal As One Center-WTC was finished in just seven days through the combined efforts of the national government and private groups Ayala Land Inc., Globe Telecom Inc., Manila Water Co. Inc., Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc, and AC Energy Inc., together with the Investment and Capital Corporation of the Philippines Group and Manila Exhibition Center Inc. —KG/MDM, GMA News