COVID-19 threat: PH to repatriate over 100 Filipinos from Macau
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is now moving for the repatriation of Filipinos from Macau due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Malacañang said Tuesday.
In a statement, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Department of Foreign Affairs is now preparing for the repatriation of 148 Filipinos from Macau via chartered flight, while the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is arranging to repatriate 48 of its active members via another commercial flight.
The world’s largest gambling hub just suffered its worst revenue drop on record due to the COVID-19. All casinos in Macau were ordered to shut down early last month for 15 days, but were reopened on Feb. 20.
The Philippines banned all travel to and from China and its two administrative regions–Hong Kong and Macau–on Feb. 2 to prevent the entry of the virus. Taiwan was added to the ban but was also lifted after it warned of possible countermeasures.
The government also barred Filipino tourists from going to South Korea with the exemption of permanent residents, students, and overseas workers.
In the same statement, Panelo also announced that Filipino tourists may now proceed with their travel plan to South Korea, excluding the areas that are heavily affected by the COVID-19.
This was agreed upon by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) during a meeting on Tuesday, Panelo said.
There are more than 450 individuals currently quarantined in the Clark facility. They were repatriated from the virus-hit Diamond Princess in Japan and from the Chinese province of Hubei, where the outbreak originated.
Edited by JPV
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