(File photo)

MANILA – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Friday reported that about 1,200 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and are in isolation.

“Our last count, there are 1,200 who tested positive. They are now in isolation. Accommodations have been extended. When they tested positive, they were immediately transferred to quarantine facilities where they will stay until they recover,” OWWA deputy administrator Arnell Ignacio said in a virtual forum.

Ignacio attributed the number of infected returning OFWs to the surge in cases due to the Omicron variant, noting that most of them are from countries in Asia.

He also reported that the medical teams in quarantine hotels are attending to both Covid-19 cases and other medical concerns.

“We have our in-house medical teams. They are on guard 24 hours to assist the needs of our modern-day heroes. It’s not only for Covid but also other medical concerns,” Ignacio added.

On the other hand, he said, arrivals of distressed Filipinos or those affected by the pandemic are not only happening in airports in Metro Manila, but also airports in Cebu, Davao, and Pampanga.

As of Friday morning, OWWA data showed that a total of 901,605 OFWs have returned since the repatriation efforts of the government began in May 2020.

After undergoing quarantine, the Filipinos were transported back to their home regions to be with their families.

The transportation, food, and accommodation expenses are shouldered by the government. (PNA)