The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday assured that Filipinos repatriated from Ebola-hit countries in West Africa will not threaten the health and security of the public here.
Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said in a news briefing that there will be protocols to follow before the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) leave their host countries and once they arrive in Manila.
“Yes, definitely, we were given that assurance that there should be no cause for alarm,” he added.
Although the department does not have implementing guidelines yet, Jose said the Filipinos who would be repatriated might have to undergo examination in their host countries before they come back.
Once in the Philippines, they might have to be quarantined because of the Ebola virus’ incubation period.
“They will have to be under quarantine to make sure that they don’t have the Ebola virus,” the official said, adding that families of the repatriated Filipinos may not be allowed to welcome them at the airport because of the threat to their health.
Putting the Filipinos under quarantine is the most “reasonable” thing for the government to do to make sure that if there are infected Filipinos, the virus will not spread in the country.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said the Philippine government’s past experiences in dealing with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (Mers-CoV) puts the country in a “better position to deal with this Ebola virus.”
The Ebola virus is a severe and often fatal illness in humans.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has a case fatality rate of 90 percent, with occurrence highest in remote villages in Central Africa and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals, and it spreads through human-to-human transmission.
Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash and impaired kidney and liver function.