Mayor urges gov't: Consider different place to house Pinoys from virus epicenter


Posted at Feb 07 2020 12:07 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2020 01:47 PM

MANILA - The mayor of Capas, Tarlac is urging Malacañang to reconsider bringing overseas Filipino workers from Wuhan, China in a quarantine site in the Central Luzon town, saying he was "perturbed" by the "last-minute" decision.

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The Department of Health did not "in any way" involve the local government of Capas when it decided to use the New Clark City complex as a quarantine zone, Capas town Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan said in a statement.

"We acknowledge that the Bases Conversion and Development Authority has full jurisdiction over NCC, but I, as the Mayor of Capas, appeal in behalf of all Capaseños to our dear President Rodrigo Duterte and DOH Secretary Francisco Duque to consider another place or facility as isolation area," he said.


The mayor did not cite further reasons for his appeal and apprehension.

The Capas town Council held an "emergency session" Friday morning to discuss the "sudden and uncoordinated move of the DOH to use the Athletes' Village at the New Clark City... as a quarantine facility for the Filipino workers being repatriated from the epicenter of the 2019 deadly novel coronavirus," the Capas town Information Office said in a separate Facebook post.

The local government has yet to release what transpired in the meeting.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said OFWs from Wuhan who are not showing symptoms of the new coronavirus will be given "nice rooms and full meals" at the New Clark City, which was earlier used for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

OFWs exhibiting symptoms of the virus will be "admitted as patients under investigation or PUIs at identify-ready hospitals," he said.

The communicable pathogen has killed at least 600 and infected 30,000 others, mostly from China where it originated.

A Chinese tourist staying in Manila died over the weekend due to complications brought by the novel coronavirus. Two other Chinese patients tested positive for the deadly disease.