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DOH eyes rehab center in Nueva Ecija as quarantine site for repatriated Filipinos

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By Analou De Vera 

The Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases is eyeing the drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija as a quarantine site for returning Filipinos from Wuhan, China, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

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The measure was among the recommendations during the second meeting of the task force.

The health chief said that one of the proposed facilities was Fort Magsaysay “provided an expeditious joint inspection by a composite team led by the DOH (Department of Health), AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), and PNP (Philippine National Police) is conducted.”

To note, the members of the task force includes representatives from the departments of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Local Government, Justice, Labor and Employment, Tourism, Transportation, and Information and Communications Technology.

The Philippine government is planning to repatriate Filipinos in Wuhan, China–the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay recently said that the Chinese government is willing to work with the Philippines for the repatriation of Filipinos in Wuhan.

“They have assured us that they are ready to address all of the concerns that any Fililpino may have in that area. Including the need to repatriate if they wish to come home,” Dulay then said.

“The [Hubei] province itself is under travel restrictions, essentially the City of Wuhan is in lockdown as of this moment. Everything that we do in that particular zone– we have to coordinate with Chinese authorities,” he added.

Filipinos in Wuhan, China who will be returning to the country will be subjected to mandatory quarantine for 14 days, the health department said.

Duque said that about 40 to 50 Filipinos in Wuhan, China “have initially signified their desire to be brought back to the Philippines.”

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