DOH prepares Fort Magsaysay as quarantine site for Filipinos in cruise ship
MANILA, Philippines — Close to 500 Filipinos onboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which is still anchored and quarantined at Yokohama Port, Japan, will soon undergo mandatory quarantine at the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center inside Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said over dzMM’s Headline Pilipinas that the government is still doing preparations for logistics at the new quarantine site.
“Well, meron namang inihahanda ito na nga yung sa Fort Magsaysay, hindi naman ito katulad ng Athlete’s Village na kumpleto na agad,” Duque said, referring to the Athlete’s Village in Capas, Tarlac province which was used as a quarantine site for Filipino repatriates from Wuhan city of Hubei province in China.
(Well, we are preparing Fort Magsaysay as quarantine site. This is not as complete as the Athlete’s Village.)
Duque said that as Fort Magsaysay is being prepared, the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City, Tarlac, will be used as a quarantine site for the Filipinos from the Diamond Princess.
Duque said the repatriation will push through by early next week as Japanese health officials are still conducting the necessary tests to verify if the Filipinos aboard the cruise ship have COVID-19 symptoms.
“Na-aprubahan na yung repatriation plan, tuloy ang paghahanda sa Athlete’s Village. Gusto ng Japanese government makumpleto muna yung testing ng ating mga kababayan,” Duque said.
(Our repatriation plan was approved and preparations are being done in Athlete’s Village. The Japanese government asked that the testing for our countrymen to be completed.)
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said that based on initial figures, 52 Filipino crew members aboard the cruise ship tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus that originated in China.
Meanwhile, Duque also urged local chief executives in Tarlac to support the government’s initiatives, noting that the Athlete’s Village is also a government-owned facility.
Earlier, Tarlac Gov. Susan Yap asked the DOH to look for other quarantine sites that will accommodate the Filipinos from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess.
“So ito, kinakailangang kompletuhin ang gamit at kakain din ng konting panahon. Nagrereassure kay governor hindi lang yung lugar niya ang pag-gagamitan. [Saka] lugar yan [Athlete’s Village] ng national government,” Duque said.
(We still need to complete the facilities in Fort Magsaysay which will take too much time. We give reassurance that the Athelete’s Village won’t be the only quarantine site. Of course, the Athlete’s Village is also owned by the national government.)
“Gusto nating humingi ng suporta at pahintulot din ang mga local chief executives,” he added.
(We want to ask for support and permission from our local chief executives)
Edited by MUF
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