MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday it has sent supplies to Filipinos trapped in Wuhan City, China, ground zero of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A team put together by the DFA visited neighborhoods with Filipino residents in the city and gave them grocery items and basic needs ahead of repatriation operations, the agency said in a statement Saturday.
The team arrived in travel-restricted Wuhan on Thursday to facilitate repatriation operations.
At least 56 Filipinos, including 7 spouses and 4 infants, have confirmed their intent to return to the Philippines, the DFA said.
"We already have our DFA team inside Wuhan City and they are there working on the ground preparing for the repatriation of our OFWs. They're taking great personal risk for the sake of our kababayans and I salute them for that," said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay.
The returning Filipinos will be flown via a chartered flight and land at the Clark International Airport.
Upon arrival in the Philippines, they will be brought to the Athlete's Village in New Clark City in Tarlac for a 14-day quarantine period.
Those who will be found to exhibit flu-like symptoms will be brought to a hospital, the Department of Health (DOH) earlier said.
The acute respiratory disease was known to have originated from a public market in Wuhan, a city of 11 million, where wild animals were sold as delicacies.
As of Saturday, the virus has killed 722, with over 34,000 infected.
The Philippines has enforced a ban on travel to and from China in a bid to contain the virus. It has confirmed three cases, all travelers from Wuhan.