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Speed up construction of permanent quarantine facility, Castelo urges gov’t

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo has urged the national government to expedite the construction of the country’s first quarantine facility to help the country deal with situations such as the novel Coronavirus crisis.

Castelo, vice chair of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said there was an “obvious struggle” among authorities as to where they should quarantine persons suspected of carrying the deadly diseases “since the government had no place specifically intended for that purpose.”

“Whereas if we have a national quarantine facility, the government won’t be wasting precious time searching for the right area to contain the spread of the disease,” said Castelo.

Castelo stressed that “building our first quarantine facility now would save us a lot of time and effort to respond to similar crisis in the future.”

She the quarantine facility should be run by well-trained personnel and equipped with the necessary features to promote the safety of both the quarantined persons and the public.

She said “confusion and panic marred government measures to control” the global coronavirus outbreak as it tried to locate a venue as quarantine area for dozens of overseas Filipino workers being repatriated from the epicenter of the virus.

The drug rehabilitation facility inside Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija was initially identified for the quarantine area but doubts on the facility’s capability to hold virus carrier suspects prompted authorities to choose New Clark City in Tarlac instead.

However, the facility in New Clark City was designed for sporting events and not for containing a virus outbreak and the local government of Capas, Tarlac is against the proposal.

“It doesn’t have the needed safety features of a quarantine area,” said Castelo.

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