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Quarantined repatriates can use mobile phones, Internet


Filipino repatriates from Wuhan City in Hubei province, China will have access to their mobile phones, television, and even the Internet during their 14-day quarantine at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City, a Health official said Saturday.

The government, according to Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo, had set up an environment for the quarantined Filipinos that would not restrict their moves.

“The cellphone privileges will be allowed, Internet connection will be installed in the facility. They will be allowed to use their cellphones. They would be allowed to use that primarily to contact their family,” Bayugo said during a press briefing of Foreign Affairs and Health department officials in Clark.



Returning Filipinos won’t have to complain about the place, the Health Undersecretary said.

They will be assigned to their own rooms. The place is airconditioned.

Refrigerator, television, and their own comfort room will be provided, Bayigo added.

“Food will be served to them on a table along the alley then they will be instructed to get when the food is ready. They will be also provided the opportunity to breathe fresh air. By schedule, they can go out to enjoy the view of the NCC,” Bayugo said.

Aside from television and access to the Internet, they will also be given books and newspaper to read every day.

Distance from one repatriate to other will, however, be maintained. Less contact with each other will be enforced.

“Then after three days, the mental health team from our team in Mariveles will go there and assess if they have mental health needs or support that we need to provide,” Bayugo said.

“We will make sure that their waste will be disposed. It’s like what we do in our hospitals. Wala pong risk ng contamination outside. Alam naman natin sa hospitals may mga infectious materials, and we are able to manage and dispose them properly,” Bayugo assured.

Health personnel, on the other hand, will take turns in manning the quarantine facility. A separate building inside the athlete’s village has been assigned for the health personnel.

“’Yung personnel natin sa quarantine facility, hindi naman sila kailangan mag-interact with the people under quarantine – separate building sila. So walang link. As much as possible, we want less contact,” Bayugo said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs has expressed readiness to arrange another repatriation flight for Filipinos in  Hubei province amid the continued spread of the coronavirus.

“Tayo po ay handa naman na magsagawa ng isa pang repatriation flight para po doon sa iba,” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay in a press briefing Saturday.

“Ang utos po ng ating Pangulo at ni (DFA) Secretary (Teodoro) Locsin, lahat po ng gustong bumalik –voluntarily, hindi po ito sapilitan, maari po silang bumalik kung hindi po sila makasama dito sa batch na,” he added.

Dulay noted that many Filipinos in Hubei province still need to fix their immigration status. There are about 300 Filipinos working in the said area, according to the DFA. (Betheena Unite and Analou de Vera)