TARLAC CITY, Feb.26 (PIA) -- Local officials appealed to Tarlaquenos, particularly those in Capas, for understanding as New Clark City (NCC) serves as quarantine facility anew this time for Filipino repatriates from the M/V Diamond Princess.
"We all stand as Filipinos, as one. I will not be the one to turn my back to fellow Filipinos who need our help. Somehow there is a level of risk for our province, but I've been assured and I trust the Department of Health (DOH) with its health measures in place. So, I take up the challenge and I ask for the understanding of all our kababayans that this is the place (NCC) and it was proven during the first batch that they are well taken care of," Governor Susan Yap said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
"I don't think there is a country in this world who was prepared for this Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Our role in government is of course its citizenry whether they live here, or they are outside working," she added.
For his part, Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan asked for his constituents to pray that there will be zero COVID-19 infections and zero mortality just like the first batch.
"We registered our objection in the first place. But considering that this is a national concern, this is emergency in nature so what we did is just to support this program of the national government that the NCC Athletes' Village will serve as a quarantine facility. Capas will provide quarantine area definitely with compassion without discrimination. We will accept them with sympathy, with our prayers that after 14 days they will be cleared of COVID-19 so that they can be with their loved ones," Catacutan furthered.
Out of the 445 repatriated Overseas Filipinos (OFs) from M/V Diamond Princess, 440 are crew members and 5 are tourists. They are currently quarantined together with 13 repatriation team members from DOH and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), bringing the total number to 458.
Earlier, a total of 49 individuals composed of 30 OFs from Wuhan, China; 5 DOH medical team members; 5 DFA response team members; 6 plane crew; and 3 ground personnel completed their 14-day quarantine period with zero infections and zero mortality.
DOH, together with Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, will be taking charge of the management, coordination and logistics of the entire quarantine process. (CLJD-PIA 3)