MANILA – Returning Filipino worker from Macau, Joseph Martin Perjis is keeping his spirit high amid boredom as he quarantined himself a few weeks before his wedding.
The Philippines has prohibited travel to and from China and its territories amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus, which has so far claimed some 800 lives and infected 37,000 others.
Perjis, who had been working in Macau at a casino for almost 3 years, arrived in Manila last week ahead of his wedding on February 24. He has since placed himself in self-quarantine in his home in Cavite.
His departure from China's casino hub was not easy. Two of his flight schedules were canceled before he finally got a trip home.
“So nagpaalam ako sa company na baka puwede akong umuwi nang 3 weeks ahead since lahat ng Filipino na galing ng Macau, China or Hong Kong is kailangang mag-undergo ng 14 [day] quaratine. At least may time pa rin ako ilang days before ’yung wedding,” Pejis told ABS-CBN News in a video call.
(I asked permission from my company if I can come home 3 weeks ahead since all Filipinos from Macau, China, or Hong Kong needs to under go a 14-day quarantine. At least I will still have time to prepare a few days before the wedding.)
Inside his home, Perjis keeps himself isolated from other people, which means only select family members are allowed to go near him. He is about to celebrate his 29th birthday on February 11 and it would also mean a limited celebration.
Perjis said he feels “normal,” but he is still taking safety precautions inside the house, such as wearing surgical face mask and keeping a healthy lifestyle and clean surroundings.
“Sinabi lang sa akin na i-treat ko lang ’yung sarili ko na para akong may chicken pox. So, kung may chicken pox ako, ayoko rin namang makahawa sa ibang mga tao. So might as well na dito na lang ako sa bahay to be safe,” he said.
(I was told to treat myself as if I had chickenpox. If I had one, I wouldn't want to infect others. So I might as well isolate myself at home to be safe.)
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Brigido Dulay said Filipinos from China may come home any time they want, but they are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The Department of Health on Saturday said there are now 267 patients being investigated for the novel coronavirus in the Philippines.
Of the 267, 230 were confined in hospital, 19 were discharged and two died.
According to the DOH, the first death is a case of pneumonia in a patient whose immune system had already been compromised, while the other death is a case of pneumonia in a patient with underlying restrictive lung disease.