Search operation for 7 OFWs who left quarantine facilities on going

This is an update on the report that several OFWs left their designated quarantine facilities pending the release of their Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) clearances amid COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 18 May 2020, eight OFWs were reported to have left their facilities prior receipt of their swab test results and one of them was a 49-year-old male OFW who was confirmed positive for COVID-19.

His current place of residence is in Quezon City.

Immediately, the Sub-Task Group for the Repatriation of OFWs conducted a search operation and yesterday, 17 May 2020, he was immediately brought to a COVID-19 treatment facility.

His family members and other persons he had personal contact with, on the other hand, were put in isolation and are now undergoing COVID-19 RT-PCR testing.

The eight OFWs who escaped their designated quarantine facilities were briefed on general quarantine protocols, underwent swab test, and signed the ‘Affidavit of Undertaking’ that they voluntarily submitted themselves to mandatory quarantine and committed to comply with quarantine measures while waiting for the release of their swab test results and BOQ clearances.

“The search operations for the seven other OFWs are ongoing. They shall be arrested and shall face charges for violating quarantine protocols and for compromising the health and safety of their families and communities,” Commodore Armando Balilo said.

The PCG appeals for public cooperation and understanding, especially from OFWs and their families, as the stringent protocols for repatriated OFWs are intended to promote public health and safely amid COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know how much you want to be with your family. We know how hard it is to not be with them during this crisis, but we need your cooperation to make this measure work,” Commodore Balilo added.