A total of 465 repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) tested positive of the coronavirus says the National Task Force on COVID-19, says Carlito Galvez, the National Task Force on COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary.
According to the meeting which was held last Tuesday evening, the Chief Implementer Secretary said that the OFWs who tested positive of the coronavirus were among the 22,000 individuals tested at the Philippine Red Cross. Galvez said that there are already 30,000 OFWs who were tested on the coronavirus upon their arrival in the country.
“Kung hindi natin ni-PCR [polymerase chain reaction testing] ito, ‘yung 465 po na ito ay parang magiging second wave,” says Galvez. “At kawawaang mga local government units, lalo na yung mga walang alam tsaka walang PCR sa area at walang facilities.”
The returns of a huge number of OFWs could pose problems as this could overwhelm the hotels that are being made as quarantine facilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Malaki po ang problema po natin sa returning OFWs. Kasi po sa ngayon po, more than 27,000 na po ang nandito sa Manila, at mayroon pa pong darating na 42,000 this coming May and June,” says Galvez.
Furthermore, Galvez makes sure that the problem will be well handled through the help of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, as he is already coordinating with the respective agencies to resolve this problem. Lorenzana has given the order to release those OFWs who will turn out negative of the coronavirus.
As of 4 PM, May 20, the Department of Health recorded a total of 279 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, raising the number of infected into 13,221 with recoveries totaling to 2,932. A total of 842 already passed away due to the disease.