42K returning OFWs may overwhelm quarantine facilities — Galvez

By: Darryl John Esguerra - INQUIRER.net - Inquirer.net | May 20,2020 - 11:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines — National Task Force COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Tuesday that the arrival of some 42,000 returning Filipino migrant workers may overwhelm the country’s quarantine facilities.

In a meeting with President Duterte and other Cabinet members in Malacañang, Galvez bared that there are already over 27,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) currently in different isolation hubs in Metro Manila.

“Meron pa pong dadating na 42,000 this coming May and June so mao-overwhelm po ‘yung ating hotels,” Galvez warned.

Earlier, repatriated OFWs have reportedly complained of having to endure a longer stay in the quarantine facilities beyond the mandatory 14-day isolation period due to the delay in their COVID-19 test results.

Malacañang has already vowed to act of the OFWs’ complaint.

Galvez also vowed to look into the issue to give room for more Filipinos who are set to return home.  

The government has started converting massive convention centers and sports facilities to serve as quarantine facilities for OFWs and suspected COVID-19 patients. 

It also tapped some private hotels and commissioned passenger ships to serve as floating quarantine facilities.

Around 30,000 OFWs who have returned to the country have been tested through a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, Galvez said.

Of the 22,432 results that have been released, 465 were positive, he added.

“Kung hindi po natin ni-PCR ito, itong 465 magiging parang second wave at kawawa po ‘yung ating local government units,” he said.



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