Alert level 2 still up in Ebola-hit West Africa

By Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2014 06:52 PM | Updated as of Sep 06 2014 08:07 PM

MANILA - Despite the alarming threat posed by the Ebola virus in West Africa, the Department of Foreign Affairs reiterated that crisis Alert Level 2 (restriction phase) remains for Filipinos in the region.

This means that Filipino overseas workers living in Ebola-hit countries like Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria should stay indoors, avoid public places, use proper hygiene and follow advisories of health authorities in host countries.

DFA Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said that the reason why they are not able to raise the alert level for Filipinos in Ebola-hit countries is because of the assessment of OFWs and other agencies of government that Filipino workers in West Africa live far away from affected communities.

There are around 2,800 Filipinos living in West Africa.

DFA data show that there are 880 Filipinos in Guinea and 1,179 in Sierra Leone. In Liberia, there are 642 Filipinos, including 115 Filipino peacekeepers.

Last month, the Department of National Defense announced the pullout of Filipino peacekeepers in Liberia, citing growing concerns for the health and safety of the troops.