Suspension of Inbound Int’l Flights to Manila Strands OFWs
Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — Filipinos about to fly to Manila today, May 3, are now stranded in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Around 50 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Gulf News reported, were scheduled to leave Dubai, UAE, on board Emirates Flight EK334 Sunday and on May 6.
However, Emirates, obviously, was caught off-guard after the Philippine government closed the country for inbound flights from abroad to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced the suspension Sunday following the arrival already of some 20,000 OFWs repatriated from their foreign home base.
It said the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) effected the airport closure for a week from May 3 to 9.
Gulf News in the story written by Staff Reporter Angel Tesorero quoted Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes who said two Emirates flights were to transport the OFWs on May 3 and 6. The Consulate paid for their tickets.
Now, they have to be rebooked for another flight after May 9.
The DOTr issued its statement on the flight suspension Sunday because of the increasing number of Filipino repatriates that have to be processed properly.
It emphasized the temporary measure on the suspension of international passenger arrivals will enable the government to dencongest the processing of this number to a more manageable level because of the need to follow strict health protocols coupled with the already full capacity of existing quarantine facilities.
The government strictly requires that all arriving passengers from abroad are to be put on a 14-day quarantine, the supposed period for symptoms of the coronavirus to manifest.
Around 20,000 returnees have already been accommodated, the transportation department revealed, and they are now in Metro Manila’s quarantine facilities.
In collaboration with non-government entities and the private sector the government has converted several establishements as quarantine facilities for Covid-19.
Some of them area the Rizal Memorial Stadium (RMC), the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the Philippine Arena of the Iglesia ni Cristo, the World Trade Center (WTC), among others.
As of May 3 at 4 p.m., the Department of Health (DOH) said the number of Covid-19 confirmed cases stands at 9,223 with the addition of 295 new known infections; recovered patients at 1,214 (90 new recovered); and 607 fatalities with 4 latest patients who succumbed to the dreaded viral affliction. (SDN)
Source of featured Emirates airplane, Pixabay by N4TX.