National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said that the arrival of repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) might cause the second wave of Covid-19 infections in the country.

“Sa nakikita natin ngayon, sa ating OFWs, we are receiving more than 30,000 and they came from [Covid-19] affected areas katulad ng United States, Italy, Spain and other parts of Middle East. So ‘yun ang tinitignan natin na doon magkakaroon tayo ng tinatawag na possible, second wave,” Galvez said in Friday’s Laging Handa virtual briefing.

Previously, Galvez said the country might be “overwhelmed” with the arrival of 42,000 OFWs by May and June.

The government expects 150,000 to 500,000 repatriated workers to return to the country by the end of the year, according to Galvez.

All returning OFWs are tested and quarantined for 14 days as part of the government’s “targeted testing” measures to detect cases of Covid-19.

Malacañang earlier clarified that the country was still experiencing the first wave of coronavirus infections, after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Philippines was already in the second wave.

The Philippines has 13,597 Covid-19 cases as of May 22, with 857 deaths and 3,092 recoveries. John Ezekiel J. Hirro