All returning OFWs mandated to undergo 14-day facility quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — All overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arriving in the Philippines are now required to undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
In an advisory on Thursday, the DFA said all sea-based and land-based Filipino migrant workers will be subjected to a facility quarantine upon their arrival.
“While the DFA works hand-in-hand with various foreign governments and cruise ship companies with regard to the repatriation of OFWs, the quarantine facilities and program will be determined and facilitated by the Department of Health (DOH) and Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ),” the DFA said.
As of April 13, at least 13,000 OFWs, mostly seafarers, have been repatriated amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Filipino repatriates were either transported to different facilities for their mandatory quarantine or were just required to undergo a home-based quarantine depending on the assessment of the BOQ.
More seafarers are expected to return home as the DFA continues its effort to assist OFWs in countries affected by the pandemic.
Foreign ships allowed to dock in Manila
Moreover, the DFA said foreign cruise ships carrying Filipino crew will be allowed to dock in ports in Manila as earlier announced by the country’s COVID-19 Inter-agency Task Force.
The said ships may be used as quarantine facilities for said Filipino crew members, “subject to the guidelines to be issued by the member agencies of the Sub Task Group for the Repatriation of OFWs.”
“The use of the cruise ship as a quarantine site will be determined by the cruise ship’s suitability as a quarantine facility and the cruise ship owners’ willingness and capability to financially sustain the operation of the quarantine program in their ship,” the DFA added.
The said directives earlier mentioned are pursuant to Resolutions No. 23 and 24 issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) dated April 13 and 15, 2020, respectively, the department further noted.
Latest figures from the DFA showed that a total of 757 Filipinos abroad have contracted COVID-19.
Of the number, 414 are still undergoing treatment while 240 patients have recovered.
There are 103 deaths reported so far.
Edited by JPV
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