MANILA - Several Filipinos in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak would like to remain there despite government's repatriation offer, a community member said Monday.
Fifty of around 150 Filipinos are set to return home from the central Chinese city and will be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival, authorities earlier said.
"Sa'kin po mas maganda po yung hindi muna kami uuwi ng Pilipinas kasi hindi namin po alam kung may virus na kaming dala sa katawan so ayaw ko pong umuwi ng Pilipinas na magdadala ako ng virus," said Dhel Tanaga, a household worker.
(For me, it's better for us not to go home to the Philippines because we don't know if we carry the virus. I don't want to go home to the Philippines with the virus.)
"Ayaw din po nila kasi ayaw nilang magdala ng virus kasi napakalapit po namin dito sa pinanggalingan ng virus."
(My fellow Filipinos also don't want to go home because we will just carry the virus, we're very near where it originated.)
Tanaga said some Filipinos have their food and grocery delivered while others opt to go out and shop on their own.
"Ang mga kasamahan ko po okay lang po kami dito, wala pong infected sa virus. Lahat po kaming Pilipino is okay po dito," she said.
(We're all okay here, no one's infected with the virus.)
The Philippines on Saturday recorded the first new coronavirus-related fatality outside of China following the death of a 44-year-old man from Wuhan.
The pneumonia-like illness has killed 360 people in China and has infected some 16,480, spreading to several countries in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East.
The Philippines has since prohibited travel to and from China and its territories.