Capas government still defiant over quarantine plan
Local officials said that residents of Capas make up most of the workers in NCC, particularly at the Athletes’ Village that is set to be the quarantine area for 45 overseas Filipino workers and their 11 companions from Wuhan City in Hubei province, epicenter of the nCoV outbreak.
AFP/Wakil Kohsar

Capas government still defiant over quarantine plan

Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2020 - 12:00am

CAPAS, Tarlac, Philippines  – Members of the Sangguniang Bayan or town council here debunked claims by health officials that the town is safe from possible 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (nCoV) infection even as residents remained defiant over the plan to turn New Clark City (NCC) here into a quarantine area.

Local officials said that residents of Capas make up most of the workers in NCC, particularly at the Athletes’ Village that is set to be the quarantine area for 45 overseas Filipino workers and their 11 companions from Wuhan City in Hubei province, epicenter of the nCoV outbreak.

The Filipino workers are expected to arrive today and land at Clark International Airport.

Vice Mayor Jeseller Rodriguez said he and other members of the SB are set to file a petition seeking a court injunction against the use of NCC as quarantine facility, even if the first batch of OFWs from China will be billeted there.

Such court order could prevent further use of the NCC as quarantine site, Rodriguez added.

During the SB meeting, residents suggested that an unused building at the drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija would be more suitable as a quarantine area because the site in more isolated.

The Department of Health initially considered the drug rehab center in Nueva Ecija but the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority objected, since there are drug dependents undergoing rehab there.

Some members of the SB also suggested the Navy-run Caballo Island in Manila Bay, which was used in 2014 to quarantine over 100 Filipino troops belonging to the UN peacekeeping force in Liberia after the outbreak then of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

The Filipino peacekeepers were deployed to support the UN mission supporting a civil war ceasefire in Liberia.

The SB also appealed to President Duterte to consider transfering the quarantine facility to another more isolated location.

In an SB resolution filed the other day, Capas councilors expressed fears of the “stigma that would dampen and defeat the original intention of attracting investors to the NCC that is being packaged and promoted as a future hub of business and possible site of the next seat of the national government.

SB Resolution No. 018-2020 also noted that housekeeping and utility personnel of the CC Athletes Village come from various barangays of Capas such as Cristo Rey, Sta. Lucia, Patling and other western barangays who are now regular workers of that area.

It expressed fears that local workers would then be “highly susceptible to contract and transmit the virus because they will be closely working with persons under investigation and/ or nCoV patients to be quarantined in the area.”

 

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