CORONAVIRUS/Testing, quarantine for arrivals from Philippines gives security: MECO

08/16/2020 07:00 PM
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Manila Economic and Cultural Office Deputy Resident Representative Gilberto F. Lauengco. CNA photo Aug. 16, 2020
Manila Economic and Cultural Office Deputy Resident Representative Gilberto F. Lauengco. CNA photo Aug. 16, 2020

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Taiwan's recent universal testing and centralized quarantine measures for all arrivals from the Philippines to curb the spread of COVID-19 gives the Filipino community in Taiwan a sense of security, a leading official from the Philippine representative office in Taipei said Sunday.

Taiwan started implementing centralized quarantine for all arrivals from the Philippines on Aug. 12 because of the rising number of imported COVID-19 cases from that country. Arrivals from the Philippines had already been required to be tested for COVID-19 from July 26.

Deputy Resident Representative Gilberto F. Lauengco from the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) told CNA that the measures adopted by Taiwan makes the Filipino community in the country feel much safer.

With the implementation of the stricter measures, Taiwanese and the Filipino community in Taiwan will be more at ease if they come across someone who has just arrived from the Philippines, Laurengco said.

"When they come here, they are swabbed and quarantined. If they didn't do that, there will always be doubts," Laurengco said.

Taiwan recorded its latest cases of COVID-19 Sunday, with the total number of imported cases from the Philippines climbing to a total of 24 cases since July 1, according to data provided by Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center.

The Philippines, meanwhile, had recorded a total of 153,660 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday, according to the WHO.

MECO said it is happy to assist the Taiwanese government in contact tracing, monitoring and in any other way to help the mandatory testing and centralized quarantine program, Lauengco said.

Taiwan has been praised by the international community for its swift and successful disease prevention efforts, which has allowed the country to hold many cultural and sporting events when similar events around the world have been postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, Taiwan has not seen any locally transmitted cases since April 12, and has only recorded a total of 484 cases, mostly imported, since the outbreak began last year, according to CECC data.

Meanwhile, MECO is also advising Filipino migrant workers not to conduct unnecessary travel back to the Philippines because they might not be able to come back to Taiwan, Lauengco said.

"They will need to get special paperwork from the government and their work places. It's very difficult, with no guarantee that they will be allowed to come back," Lauengco said.

The move is also for the safety for the workers and their families.

MECO also advised all Filipino migrant workers to seek medical attention and notify the Philippine representative office if they develop any symptoms related to the coronavirus, Lauengco said.

(By William Yen)

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