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OFW with COVID-19 who escaped quarantine, already found —OWWA

The overseas Filipino worker reported to have escaped a quarantine facility and later turned positive for COVID-19 had been located, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said Monday.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that during a meeting with the concerned agencies it was clarified that the situation is now under control.

“Ang sitwasyon ay under control. 'Yung naiulat kahapon ay dalawang kaso at kakatapos lang po ng pagpupulong namin diyan at malinaw naman po na na-locate 'yung dalawang naunang naiulat na tumakas. Na-trace naman po at na-locate,” Cacdac said.

He said present during the meeting were Philippine Coast Guard commandant Admiral Joel Garcia, Defense Secretary  Delfin Lorenzana, and COVID-19 response deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon.

“Ang mga OFWs naman po natin ay hindi tumatakas. The situation is under control at na-isolate na yung pinuntahan,” he said.

He refused to divulge any information relating to the two OFWs saying only the Department of Health could reveal such details.

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

Cacdac said the prolonged quarantine period of OFWs was due to chain of events.

He explained that before the Inter-Agency Task Force required PCR-based tests for COVID-19 on repatriated OFWs on April 27, those who finished the 14-day quarantine had been allowed to go home.

“Problem: ‘Yung mga (returning to) Visayas, Mindanao noong panahon na ‘yun walang flight. Nag-impose ng requirement like PCR tests etcetera,” he said.

“So it happened, ‘yung mga Visayas, Mindanao na lalo around that time na ipinataw ‘yung swab tests (na requirement) ay nakalagpas na ng 14 days because they are waiting for local government units to accept them,” he added.

According to Cacdac, some of the local governments are demanding for test results first before accepting the returning OFWs.

The testing dedicated to repatriated OFWs started only on May 5 with the establishment of OWWA facilities as well as the testing capacity of the IATF and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

“From May 5 onwards, we have been waiting for the results,” he said.

“Yung mga dati nang—VisMin lalo—na lumagpas na sa 14 days, tumatakbo na rin ang kanilang araw. Lumolobo na ‘yung kanilang pananatili doon,” he said.

Citing information from Coast Guard commandant Admiral Garcia, Cacdac said around 28,000 are waiting in line for the test results.

The PCG, which volunteered to manage these quarantine facilities, earlier admitted delays in processing the swab samples of OFWs because the PRC is also conducting PCR-based tests for local government units.

“As of today, we started Friday—medyo naantala ng bagyo over the weekend—meron na tayong mga 600 na napauwi,” Cacdac said.

“This is ongoing. Meron tayong barko pauwi ng Iloilo at Bacolod. Three hundred ang isasakay doon. At the end of this day, we will reach the 1,000 mark,” he added.

Cacdac said around 7,500 out of the 8,500 OFWs who are staying in quarantine facilities under OWWA’s management can return home.—AOL, GMA News