Most of COVID-19 cases in May and June are linked to overseas Filipino returnees, DOH says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 1) — The Department of Health said most of the COVID-19 ces in May and June are accounted to returning overseas Filipinos.

Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing on Wednesday that the agency's initial analysis noted indications that most of the cases in May and June were linked to overseas Filipinos who just arrived back.

In March and April, the DOH spokesperson said, most of the cases were healthcare workers.

She said that as of June 30, a total of 92,967 overseas Filipinos have arrived back in the country, of which 39,643 are land-based, while 53,324 sea-based.

Total COVID-19 cases from this sector have reached 2,326. Land-based overseas Filipinos who contracted the virus totaled 1,213, while those sea-based reached 1,113.

The government is currently doubling its efforts to bring home overseas Filipinos in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

However, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the delayed issuance of flight clearances by the Inter-Agency Task Force has stalled the return of many others.

The government is also giving assistance to these workers being sent home to their provinces.

Early in June, the Labor department said 23,472 returning workers were already sent home, while about 18,000 were recently cleared.

It is also expecting around 60,000 returning workers in the next two months, with some 300,000 more returning until the end of the year.