MANILA - Health workers on Friday deep-cleaned and sanitized the Athletes' Village in New Clark City in Tarlac province after hundreds of Filipino sailors from a coronavirus-afflicted cruise ship have completed their quarantine.
Clad in full protective gears, personnel from the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Luzon disinfected the rooms used by the 445 repatriates from MV Diamond Princess to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"We would like to assure everyone, especially those residing in the adjacent communities of New Clark City, that the Athletes’ Village has been thoroughly sanitized by the DOH,” Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and CEO Vince Dizon said in a statement.
The rooms of the 2 repatriates who tested positive for COVID-19 were also thoroughly disinfected. Tagged as patients 25 and 26 in the health department's tally of coronavirus cases, they have since been transferred to the hospital.
Amid reports of local transmissions in the country, the New Clark City will also remain on lockdown as a precautionary measure, Dizon added.
The Filipino sailors were flown out of Japan on Feb. 25, and were sent straight to the New Clark City for quarantine.
They already underwent a 14-day quarantine on the ship but were required to undergo another quarantine procedure.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had commended all health workers who took care of the repatriates.
"We commend the health workers who have been tirelessly caring for our repatriates for the past month. First, those from Wuhan, and now those from Japan. Their dedication to their work and their countrymen is truly inspiring,” he said in a statement.
The Philippines has so far recorded 52 cases of the new strain of coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Five of the patients, including an elderly Filipino couple in Cainta, Rizal, have died from the fast-spreading disease.
The Philippine government will also imposed a "community quarantine" in Metro Manila starting Sunday to curb the spread of COVID-19.