The Philippines still remains free of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Malacañang said on Sunday.
In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. assured that the Department of Health (DOH) has the “capability and preparedness” to address the deadly disease afflicting some West African countries.
“Ang Pilipinas ay nananatiling Ebola-free. Wala pang natutunton o naiulat na kaso ng Ebola sa bansa [We are still Ebola-free. No cases of Ebola have been recorded so far in the country],” Coloma said.
“Tinututukan ng DOH at iba pang ahensya ang lahat ng ports of entry, maging paliparan o pantalan [The DOH and other relevant government agencies are closely monitoring all possible ports of entry, be they airports or piers],” he added.
Coloma said an inter-agency task force, composed of the DOH, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment, is closely coordinating the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from countries affected by the EVD.
“Tinitiyak po ng DOH sa pangunguna ni Kalihim [Enrique] Ona na may sapat na kakayahan at kahandaan ang pamahalaan na tumugon sa ebola virus o ebola epidemic dahil ito po ay idineklara na ng World Health Organization [WHO] bilang isang panganib sa pandaigdigang kalusugan [The DOH led by Secretary Enrique Ona assures that the government has the capability and preparedness to respond to the Ebola virus or an Ebola epidemic because the WHO has declared the virus as a danger to global health],” he added.
The DFA had raised Alert Level 2 for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, while a deployment ban is now implemented on Filipino workers newly hired by these countries.
Meanwhile, recruitment agencies have been notified by employers in West Africa of repatriation of 15 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Sierra Leone.
The DOH will continue to monitor these OFWs for 30 days starting from their date of departure from Sierra Leone.