The Philippines recently confirmed that its number of COVID-19 cases soars into 13,597 after witnessing another 163 new cases in a day. The number of recovered patients reached 3,092, the Department of Health reported.
According to the department, most of the new cases came from Metro Manila and Central Visayas. Among those cases, six more healthcare frontliners caught the virus, adding the total number to 2,336.
The Department of Foreign Affairs also noted that 43 Filipinos overseas tested positive. Meanwhile, the government also announced that 97 foreigners staying in the Philippines are COVID-19 positive.
Despite the declining numbers of daily new cases, the government still believed that the country is still facing the first wave of coronavirus. Furthermore, the government is preparing for the second wave as lockdown eases and overseas Filipino workers are about to return home.
However, Philippine government claimed that they have managed to flatten the curve since March 31. Accordingly, there were an addition of 538 new cases at that day.
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Philippines Fears Returning Workers Exceed Slots at COVID-19 Quarantine Centers
The Philippines fears the mass return of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) exceeds the capacity of quarantine centers in the country.
Accordingly, approximately 42,000 OFWs will land on the country by May and June. The imminent return of such number of people might be overwhelming for the government to handle.
Based on the protocols, these returning workers must undergo a 14-day quarantine. In so doing, they can choose to stay at government-owned facilities, on passenger ships, or in hotels accredited by the Bureau of Quarantine in Metro Manila.
To avoid overcapacity, the Defense Secretary is working alongside maritime industry and related agencies to speed up the release. Should patients are negative, the government will quicken the release of them to free up rooms for other upcoming patients.
If the government failed to conduct proper tests and quarantine, these OFWs could potentially spearhead the second wave of the pandemic in the country.