The We Heal As One Center-Philippine Arena sent home on Friday 78 recovered patients, mostly overseas Filipino workers, after testing negative from COVID-19.

In a ceremony led by National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, Maligaya Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer and Iglesia Ni Cristo Official Atty. Glicerio “Ka GP” Santos IV, and Bureau of Quarantine Deputy Director Dr. Roberto Salvador Jr., the OFWs were cheered on as they left the quarantine facility and met with their families who fetched them home. Others were transported via buses to their respective destinations.

“Dito, inaalagaan natin ‘yung ating mga kababayan from start to end at finally makakasama na nila ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay at makakapamuhay na sila nang normal pagkatapos nilang labanan ang COVID-19,” Dizon said. Dizon also serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

Dr. Salvador emphasized that the patients were treated as “family” by the health workers in the facility.

“Tini-treat po namin ang aming patients as family at hindi po namin pinaparamdam na baka makahawa sila. Sa mga OFW, nagpapasalamat kami dahil alam po namin ang hirap niyo, [ang] naramdaman niyo po dito, pero nakisama po kayo, nakita niyo naman po na ginawa ng gobyerno ang talagang dapat na gawin. Maraming salamat po,” Salvador remarked.

Jhoneyfer Derasin, a seafarer from Brazil expressed thanks to the doctors who took care of the patients during their stay.

“Unang una sa lahat, nagpapasalamat po ako sa doktor na in-charge sa amin…So kunwari po from negative thinking, nagiging positive po dahil kay doctor…siya po ang [nagsasabi] na huwag po naming pabayaan ‘yung sarili namin at huwag po kaming magkakasakit [kasi] hindi naman ganoon kadali eh,” he said.

Of the recovered patients, 76 are returning OFWs and two are members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The We Heal As One Center-Philippine Arena has a 300-bed capacity. It is one of the quarantine facilities speedily put up by the national government with the help of the private sector, as part of the Test, Trace, Treat strategy, to save more lives amid the pandemic.


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