'Medyo red flag': 9,000 OFWs staying in quarantine facilities - OWWA

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2022 02:16 PM

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrive at the lobby of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Parañaque City on July 1, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrive at the lobby of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Parañaque City on July 1, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Around 9,000 workers who returned from work abroad are quarantined in the country, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said on Thursday, describing the situation as "somewhat a red flag."

“Sa ngayon, mga 9,000 OFWs tayo in around 240 hotel quarantine facilities” said OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac. 

“Manageable ang sitwasyon sa ngayon, although medyo red flag o red alert levels na ‘yan for us. Binabantayan natin maigi ang sitwasyon,” he said in a televised public briefing. 
 
(Right now, we have 9,000 OFWs in around 240 quarantine hotels. The situation is manageable for now, although that is somewhat a red flag or in the red alert level for us. We are closely monitoring the situation.) 

Asked what he meant with "red flag," Cacdac said, “Mas marami sila, obviously, sa hotels at mas marami ang likelihood ng day-to-day complaints, mga operational complaints; kulang ng pagkain or health issues, kailangan magpabili ng gamot.” 

(There are more of them, obviously, in hotels and there is a higher likelihood of day-to-day complaints, operational complaints like lack of food or health issues, the need to buy medicines.) 

Cacdac said the load on quarantine hotels depends on how quickly swab tests could be done and results are released. 

“Sa ngayon, meron tayong nararamdamang kaunting delays ng release ng swab test results. Pero naiibsan naman ito,” he said. 

(We are experiencing some delays in the release of swab test results But this is being eased.) 

Government agencies have a one-stop shop where they could coordinate on this, he said. 

The length of quarantine for returning OFWs and international travelers depends on the COVID-19 risk category of the country were they were from and their vaccination status. 

The government recently filed charges against a woman from the US who cut short her quarantine, attended a party, and later tested positive for COVID-19. Her parents and some staff of her quarantine hotel were also slapped with the same formal complaint.

The tourism department on Monday said another Filipino was caught violating quarantine protocols after posting on social media about going for a massage session. 

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered policemen to guard quarantine hotels

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Video courtesy of PTV