Gatchalian to DFA: Be ready to evacuate Filipinos in Wuhan
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to locate Filipinos in Wuhan, China ahead of a “possible evacuation.”
“We have to prepare for any eventuality,” said Gatchalian, who expressed alarm that Filipinos are not spared from being infected if the virus is not contained.
The DFA has reported that there are about 150 Filipinos in Wuhan City in China, the source of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed 56 people around the globe.
The 2019-nCoV was first reported in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. Symptoms of this new strain include fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing.
Gatchalian also asked the DFA to put in place specific measures for the smooth evacuation of Filipinos in Wuhan, some of whom work there as English teachers.
He added the DFA should constantly monitor the situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Wuhan so that the government can address their needs.
He cited the example of the United States, which initiated an evacuation of American citizens from the epidemic-stricken city.
“Nakakabahala ang mabilis na pagkalat ng coronavirus sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng mundo at mahalagang may regular din dapat na ibinibigay na balita ang DFA tungkol sa kaligtasan ng ating mga OFW”, he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that as of January 26, a total of 2,014 cases of 2019-nCoV have worlwide wherein 1,985 of which were from China.
The WHO said 29 cases were confirmed in 10 other countries such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, the United States, and France.