Philippines to fly home citizens from Macau, where 10 COVID-19 cases have been recorded

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Philippines to fly home citizens from Macau, where 10 COVID-19 cases have been recorded
This file photo taken on January 22, 2020 shows visitors wearing face masks as they walk inside the Venetian casino hotel resort in Macau.
AFP / Anthony Wallace

MANILA, Philippines — The government said it is now preparing for the repatriation of Filipinos from Macau, where 10 cases of the novel coronavirus have been recorded.

A total of 148 Filipinos will be brought home via a chartered flight arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Tuesday.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, meanwhile, will repatriate 48 of its active members from the former Portuguese colony via a commercial flight.

In January, the Philippine banned travel to and from China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau as part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

But the travel restriction on Hong Kong and Macau was partially lifted after the government allowed Filipinos who hold working, student and permanent resident visas to return to these areas.

Macau recorded only 10 coronavirus infections and has not detected any new cases for nearly a month.

The gambling hub suffered its worst revenue drop after it implemented a city-wide closure to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Casinos, bars and nightclubs were shut down for two weeks and only reopened on February 18.

Last week, 458 repatriates from the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship were flown back to the Philippines. They are currently quarantined at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. — with report from Agence France-Presse



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