IATF ‘committed’ to send OFWs home 5 days after 14-day quarantine, says Bello

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MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has “committed” to releasing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who tested negative for the new virus five days after the standard 14-day quarantine period.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III disclosed this Saturday during the Laging Handa online press briefing, following complaints of some OFWs that they have been in isolation in a Pasay City hotel for over a month now.

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“The IATF committed that from henceforth ay lilimitahin na nila ‘yung time frame para sa ganun, after ng 14 day quarantine, in about 5 days, makakalabas na yung ating mga OFWs,” Bello said.

(The IATF committed that from henceforth, the time frame will be limited so that after their 14-day quarantine, in about 5 days, the OFWs will be released.)

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Reports emerged about OFWs remaining in quarantine facilities beyond the 14-day quarantine period, as they await the certification that they tested negative for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes severe respiratory ailment COVID-19.

All returning OFWs must undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine as ordered by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

As of Saturday, DFA said it has repatriated a total of 29,351 OFWs. Of these, 66.8 percent or 19,610 OFWs are sea-based while 33.2 percent or 9,741 are land-based.

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