DFA to evacuate OFWs from Sierra Leone


Some 20 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be repatriated from Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa in which the spread of the deadly Ebola virus has gotten out of control.

A quarantine physician at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport said the OFWs have volunteered to be repatriated because of the alarming situation in the West African country.

“The epidemic is out of control. With the [spread of the virus]in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, there is a real risk of its spreading to other areas,” airport quarantine physician Noel Ramirez said.

Ramirez said the Filipino workers’ manning agencies requested the Department of Foreign Affairs for the pull out of their personnel because of the rapid spread of the disease.

The doctor added that after the first reported cases in Guinea last year, the World Health Organization reported that some 337 people have died from Ebola in three countries this year.

Ramirez explained that Ebola was spread by contact with bodily fluids including sweat, but even just touching a person infected with the virus was enough to spread the disease.

Ebola will afflict the infected person with severe fever, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea. And in some cases it shuts down the organs and causes unstoppable bleeding.

Ramirez said they have the names of the first batch of OFWs who will be repatriated between June and July.


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