MANILA — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang on Monday said that all 133 peacekeepers, who have recently returned from Liberia, are in excellent health and condition in their quarantine facilities in Caballo Island.
Catapang said it was Department of Health (DOH) Acting Secretary Janette Garin who initiated the decision to visit the peacekeepers last Sunday.
He added that Garin’s decision was to quell rumors that persons recently arrived from Ebola-wracked countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are all potential carriers of the dreaded disease.
Catapang also stated that they did not violate any protocols as they strictly complied with all the medical orders issued by the DOH chief.
“Secretary Garin told me to accompany her to Caballo Island as she was receiving a lot questions regarding the proper protocol for Ebola. None of the peacekeepers were showing any symptoms of Ebola,” the AFP chief said in Filipino.
The “no-touch edict” still remain in force, he noted.
And until the peacekeepers start showing positive Ebola symptoms, there is absolute nothing to be worried about, he added.
Catapang said that despite this positive signs, all peacekeepers will comply with the mandatory 21-day quarantine period.
He added that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coming from Ebola-infected zones have nothing to fear if they decided to place themselves under government hands.
The AFP chief stressed that Caballo Island can hold between 300 to 400 quarantine patients if needed.
Plans are also afoot to develop Corregidor, a much bigger island in Manila Bay, into a quarantine zone as it can handle 500 to 1,000 patients.
Aside from this, it also now has existing amenities like a hotel and communication facilities.