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Some repatriated OFWs with COVID-19 escape from quarantine facilities —PCG

Some repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who later turned positive for COVID-19 have escaped from quarantine facilities, the Philippine Coast Guard said, according to a report of Dobol B sa News TV on Sunday.

PCG spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said after the OFWs escaped, their test results were released, showing they turned positive for coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19).

“May mga nakatakas sa mga hotel na 'yan at ang masama nito, lumabas ang results na positive sila. Ngayon nandoon na sila sa bahay nila. Nakahalubilo ang pamilya, ‘yung community,” Balilo said.

According to Balilo, authorities were already searching for the OFWs.

He said they may be charged for violating the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

“Iho-hold kung sakali eventually dahil may vina-violate siguro sila dito sa Heal as One protocol. May balak po na sampahan ng kaso. Iimbestigahan po namin kung sino ‘yung mga kasabwat nitong tumakas na hotel personalities,” he added.

Balilo encouraged OFWs to be patient in waiting for their COVID-19 test results. He said the PCG is already working with the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) for faster release of test results.

On Thursday, PCG commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said up to 18,000 OFWs were stranded in Metro Manila as local government units in their home provinces refused to accept them amid the COVID-19 threat.

Some of the stranded OFWs complained about their continued stay at quarantine facilities, exceeding the recommended 14-day quarantine.

PCG admitted that there were delays in processing the swab samples of OFWs because the Philippine Red Cross is also conducting PCR-based tests for local government units.

So far, the BOQ has released only 6,000 certificates of COVID-19 results of some OFWs, according to Garcia.

Meanwhile, repatriated OFWs who tested negative for COVID-19 and have certificates from the Philippine Red Cross and quarantine clearances may take ships going to Visayas and Mindanao to get to their hometowns starting Sunday, the PCG said. —Joviland Rita/KG, GMA News