DFA in touch with Pinoys abroad; crafts measures amid nCoV spread

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is establishing emergency protocols for Filipinos in Wuhan City as the 2019-novel coronavirus (nCov) spreads fast in China and other countries.

On Monday, the agency convened a meeting with the Department of Health (DOH) to seek guidance on the protocols for evacuation and repatriation of Filipinos in Wuhan as well as other affected cities and provinces.

During the meeting, the two agencies also discussed the formulation of further health advisories for overseas Filipinos in affected countries, including DOH hotlines in every Foreign Service Post in China that they can directly call.

There's no update yet as to whether repatriation will be implemented soon as Wuhan, the ground-zero of the 2019-nCoV, remains on lockdown in an attempt to contain the outbreak's spread.

Health Undersecretary for Public Health Services Myrna Cabotaje, for her part, advised overseas Filipinos in affected areas to avoid crowded places, use masks and gloves, and practice proper hygiene in order to reduce exposure to and transmission of said virus.

There are an estimated 150 Filipinos in Wuhan, none of which has been reported infected by the virus. At present, the DFA maintains close contact with its foreign posts as it monitors the outbreak.

"The DFA, through its Embassies and Consulates General in China and affected areas, continues to reach out to overseas Filipinos to take necessary precautions and follow the advice from local health authorities in their area," the agency said in a statement.

"It is also in close coordination with the Filipino communities in calling for volunteer nurses and doctors who may serve as first responders for the overseas Filipinos in affected areas," it added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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