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Some Filipino workers in Macau on ‘forced leave’ due to COVID-19 

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 02:29 PM March 02, 2020

A man wears a facemask as he walks along the waterfront in the background of city’s skyline in Macau on January 30, 2020. – The World Health Organization, which initially downplayed the severity of a disease that has now killed 170 nationwide, warned all governments to be “on alert” as it weighed whether to declare a global health emergency. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Some Filipino workers in Macau were on “forced leave” due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said Monday.

“The one thing that I can share right now is we’re monitoring the situation of workers in Macau. Some of them have been placed in forced leave,” OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

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While he did not specify how many are on forced leave, Cacdac assured Philippine authorities are coordinating with Macau labor officials to protect the rights of the Filipino workers there.

“But the Consulate General’s office and OWWA Welfare Officer there are in close touch with the Macau Ministry of Labor and the Macau Ministry of Labor is fully aware of the situation at ginagabayan din nila yung mga kumpanya (they are guiding the companies), the rights of the workers under Macau law,” Meñez said.

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The Philippines earlier imposed a travel ban to China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau following the outbreak of the deadly virus in its Wuhan City in Hubei province.

However, the travel ban for Hong Kong and Macau was eventually lifted for Filipinos workers as well as students and permanent residents.

As of March 1, over 87,000 people worldwide have been infected by COVID-19 as the death toll from the disease topped 2,900.

KGA

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