THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said about 50 Filipinos in Hubei province in China wanted to be repatriated amid concerns over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez said most of the Filipinos who wanted to return home were from Wuhan City, the center of the nCoV outbreak.
He said the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai has estimated that there were 300 Filipinos in the Hubei province, including the 150 in Wuhan.
"About 50 so far have indicated desire to leave. Any repatriation would need to consider their safety, in coordination with Chinese authorities’ approval," Meñez said in a text message.
"Mostly from Wuhan I believe so far. Everything is still being coordinated and considered so no details yet - as was mentioned, it may be safer to stay put," he said.
The DFA on Tuesday said it was "ready to repatriate Filipinos in Wuhan City and the rest of Hubei Province who wish to come home, subject to China’s rules on disease containment, including immigration clearance and quarantine process."
The DFA is making available special flights from Hubei Province to the Philippines. "Hence, Filipinos in the area who wish to be repatriated should contact the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai," it said in a statement.
Upon arrival in the Philippines, Filipino repatriates will be subject to 14 days of mandatory quarantine as per guidelines of the Department of Health (DoH), it added.