Gov’t prepares for ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 that may come from arriving OFWs



The chief implementer of the national policy against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) said  on Friday the government is preparing for a possible “second wave” in the country.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the government is preparing for the possibility of a new spike in COVID-19 cases in some areas that may come from the influx of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)  from the United States, Italy, Spain, and some parts of the Middle East.

“Ang nakita nga natin dito is ‘yung magkaroon ng spike ang mga ibang mga lugar at isa rito na nakita natin is ‘yung importation ng tinatawag nating transmission through ‘yung malaking influx ng ating OFWs,” Galvez said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Sa nakita natin ngayon, ang ating OFWs, we are receiving more than 30,000 and they came from affected areas na katulad ng US, Italy, Spain and other part of Middle East.  So ‘yun ang tinitingnan natin, doon magkakaroon tayo ng tinatawag na possible na second wave,” Galvez said.

Galvez said government agencies, particularly a special task group on repatriation, are preparing so that OFWs are immediately tested upon their arrival.

He said 600 out of the 30,000 newly-arrived OFWs the government has tested for COVID-19 were found to be positive.

Meanwhile, Galvez said the Philippines is currently still in its first wave of infections resulting from local transmission.

Earlier this week, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III claimed that the Philippines is already on its second wave, considering the first three imported cases as the first wave.

The Department of Health (DOH) has clarified his statement.

Malacañang had said the country is still experiencing the first wave of infections.

Asked if somebody should be held accountable for the confusion, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday said: “Sana po (hopefully).”/Stacy Ang

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