February 09, 2020

THIRTY Filipinos are home from Wuhan City, the epicenter of the dreaded novel coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

The repatriated Filipinos on the chartered flight which landed at the Haribon Hangar in Clark Air Base included 29 adults and one infant.

Together with the repatriates were a 10-member team from the Philippines which included two members from the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai, three members from the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA), and five medical team members from the Department of Health (DOH).

Upon their arrival, the Filipinos were safely and swiftly transferred from the plane into their dedicated buses, and brought to the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City in Tarlac which will be their home for the 14-day quarantine period.

The DFA made an initial call for the repatriation of Filipino nationals in China on January 28, which was facilitated by the Philippine Embassy in Beijing and the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai, the Foreign Service Post with jurisdiction over Wuhan city in Hubei province.

The Embassy and the Consulate liaised with Chinese authorities to facilitate the operation. 

This past week, two representatives from the Consulate General in Shanghai had to hurdle several border provinces’ clearances along their arduous two-day land travel to Wuhan City to coordinate with the Filipino community and the Foreign Affairs Office in Hubei Province.

Meanwhile, the team from the DFA Home Office in Manila flew into Wuhan City Saturday night, completing the team ensuring the safe return of the Filipinos. 

They brought with them the Philippine Government’s donation that includes basic emergency, sanitation products and food items for the people of Hubei Province.

The goods were turned over to Hubei provincial authorities for local distribution.