‘Second wave’ of COVID-19 may come from arriving OFWs –Galvez

‘Second wave’ of COVID-19 may come from arriving OFWs –Galvez

The chief implementer of the national policy against COVID-19 on Friday said the government is preparing for a possible second wave of infections in the country, which he fears could come from overseas Filipino workers arriving from affected areas.

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 OFWs from countries like the United States, Italy, Spain, and 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,” he said at 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,” he added.

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

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

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

He said he believes 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. He has since clarified the statement.

Duque said Thursday that the country is on its “first major wave of sustained transmission.”

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.”

Philippine health authorities have recorded 13,434 COVID-19 cases in the country as of Thursday. Of this number, 3,000 patients have recovered and 846 have died. Source: LBG, GMA News

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