203 OFWs in 26 countries positive for COVID-19: DFA

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    — with Gerard Naval

    A THIRD overseas Filipino worker (OFW) has died from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Foreign Affairs Thursday.

    The DFA said the latest fatality is from the Asia-Pacific region. The two others died in Europe.

    The number of infected OFWs has also increased to 203, in 26 countries. Ninety-three of them are undergoing treatment while 107 have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.

    In the Asia-Pacific region, 115 OFWs were infected, with 28 undergoing treatment while 86 have recovered.

    In the Middle East, where more than two million OFWs are living and working, 23 OFWs were infected; Europe, 43 cases, with five recovered; and in the Americas, 22 OFWs infected and 14 have recovered.

    Meanwhile, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said “all non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas countries and regions by plane will be denied entry to Hong Kong.”

    POEA Advisory No. 37-2020 also said the 14-day ban started on March 25.

    POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said the travel restriction is being implemented as part of Hong Kong’s efforts “to further prevent imported cases and cut the global and local virus transmission chain as far as possible.”

    Also barred by Hong Kong are non-Hong Kong residents coming from Mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan if they have been to any overseas countries and regions in the past 14 days.

    It also noted that all transit services at the Hong Kong International Airport will be suspended.

    The POEA also said all travelers coming from Macau and Taiwan, including Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong residents, will be subjected to a 14-day compulsory quarantine, which is the same as the arrangements for people entering Hong Kong from the Mainland China.

    Last month, the Philippine government allowed the resumption of deployment of OFWs to Hong Kong after temporarily suspending it due to the threat of the COVID-19.