return of stranded Negrense overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Negros
Occidental will begin tomorrow and safety precautions are in place to
ensure that they are coronavirus disease (COVID-19) free, Provincial
Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday.
“We will not allow them to
roam freely and mingle with society, we have to isolate them first,”
Thirty-five OFWs and
17 Bureau of Fire Protection new recruits will arrive from Cebu today
and will be quarantined for 14 days at the Yolanda housing
village in EB Magalona, he said.
Of the 35, he said 19 are from Bacolod City.
On their arrival, they will be subjected to COVID-19
rapid tests so the provincial government will immediately
know their health condition, Diaz said. Swab tests will also be
simultaneous taken for official test results from the Department of
Health laboratory in Iloilo, he added.
Diaz said an administrative officer, five nurses,
and 14 policemen will take care of the medical and security needs of
the group arriving from Cebu while in EB Magalona.
This precaution is being taken to ensure the
protection of the families of the OFWs from COVID-19 and to prevent a
series of infections, he said.
Arrangements for the return of 45
Negrenses stranded in Iloilo, mostly construction workers, are also
being finalized, he said.
The DOH protocol is all returning OFWs must be
placed under 14-day facility-based quarantine, Dr. Ma. Sophia Pulmones,
DOH Western Visayas spokesperson, said yesterday.
They should not be placed under home quarantine, she added.
Diaz said they are also working on the return of the
rest of the stranded Negrense OFWs in Cebu and Manila, and workers from
other parts of the country.
A complete list of those in Manila needs to be
finalized first, so it will only be one effort to bring them all home,
Meanwhile, the provincial government is distributing
P15.5 million worth of rice, at 400 sacks for every town and city of
Negros Occidental as assistance to their residents, starting today,
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