8-member PH team off to Wuhan for repatriation ops

MANILA Eight representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Health (DOH) are scheduled to fly to Wuhan in China's Hubei province on Saturday night for the repatriation of Filipinos in the virus-hit city.

The team, composed of five medical experts from DOH and three from the DFA, will board a Royal Air flight arranged by the DFA to assist more than 50 Filipinos from ground zero of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Before their flight, the eight will undergo a simulation exercise at Clark International Airport to ensure fast and efficient operation. The DFA said the team is expected to return along with the repatriates on Sunday.

"The team will ensure orderly disembarkation and transfer to the Athletes' Village in New Clark City, Tarlac, which will be their home for the 14-day mandatory quarantine period," the department said in a statement. "The crew who manned the flight will likewise be subjected to the 14-day quarantine period."

A total of 56 persons, including seven spouses and four infants, have confirmed their intent to join the repatriation flight.

The DFA initiated the call to repatriate the workers on January 28, which was facilitated by the Philippine Embassy in Beijing and the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai, the foreign service post with jurisdiction over Wuhan and Hubei.

The three-member Health Emergency Response Team (HERT) from DFA will consist of Rowell Casaclang, Abdul Rahman Pacasum, and Richard delos Santos from the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs (OUMWA).

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola, meanwhile, assured that the team "is already experienced in repatriation operations, and has been briefed and prepared for this particular assignment." (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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