National Task Force (NTF) on Covid-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Wednesday the suspension on inbound international flights and decongestion of quarantine facilities were done to ready the country for 44,754 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning by June.

Galvez said 23,480 OFWs were completing mandatory quarantine in Manila, as the country imposes imposes further restrictions to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Inbound international flights were banned from May 3 to May 10, and Galvez said the NTF thought the week-long ban was ample time to decongest quarantine facilities.

Galvez said that after the flight ban, only 400 to 500 incoming OFWs would be allowed to enter the country daily.

The chief implementer also said the opening of the government’s “mega swabbing facilities” would help speed up the testing and quarantine processes for OFWs.

“[Ang pagkakaroon] po ng massive testing para sa OFWs at saka sa ating mga suspected Covid cases dito sa Manila ay para po ma-decongest na po ng OFWs, at the same time, mati-test na po natin iyong mga residents na possible carrier po ng Covid-19,” Galvez said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro