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PH prepares for 2nd wave of COVID-19 as many OFWs return in the country

According to chief implementer of the national policy against COVID-19 Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday (May 22), the government is preparing for a possible second wave of transmission of coronavirus disease in the country that may come from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arriving from affected areas.

Galvez said, as many as 500,000 OFWs are estimated to return in the country this year amid the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic. These returning OFWs will undergo coronavirus testing immediately upon arrival and will be housed in quarantine facilities until their test results are released.

“Nagpupulong tayo sa Malacañang kasama ‘yung mga key secretaries ay napag-usapan natin ‘yung ating preparation for second wave at ang nakikita natin dito is ‘yung magkaroon ng spike ang ibang mga lugar. Isa dito na nakikita natin is ‘yung importation ng tinatawag nating transmission through ‘yung malaking influx ng ating OFWs,” Galvez said during the Laging Handa public briefing on state television.

The official said, more or less, 600 out of the 30,000 newly-arrived OFWs were found to be positive for COVID-19 after being tested. He also believes, the Philippines is still in its first wave of infections resulting from local transmission.

The government has required all returning OFWs to be tested for COVID-19 and to undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Several hotels and other facilities have been converted by the government to serve as quarantine sites for the Filipino repatriates.

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