DOH considers evacuating Filipinos in Macau amid coronavirus scare

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 27) — The Department of Health (DOH) is considering bringing home Filipino workers in Macau amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Health Assistance Secretary Maria Rosario Vergerie said it was the Filipinos in Macau who asked the government if they may be flown back to the country.

“Ito po ay isang request ng ating mga kababayan sa Macau. So hindi po tayo pumipili kung sino ang dapat,” she said.

[Translation: This is a request of our fellow Filipinos in Macau. So we don’t really decide who should be repatriated.]

There are so far 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Chinese special administrative region.

Early this month, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a travel ban to China, where the virus originated, and in Hong Kong and Macau.

However, DOH announced weeks later that Filipino workers in Hong Kong and Macau are now exempted from the travel ban.

CNN Philippines' correspondent Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report