A church official in the Philippines appealed to returning migrant workers to submit themselves to quarantine and to treatment if they are found sick.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People made the statement following reports that several migrant workers escaped from a quarantine facility.
“That was a very sad and discouraging news for us,” said the prelate in a statement.
He said the workers placed not only themselves at risk but the safety of their family and the community because of their “irresponsible and careless” action.
“What they did was very careless move and very irresponsible action,” he said. “They are all now in danger,” added Bishop Santos.
“Correct your wrongdoing, please submit and present yourself for treatment to prevent further contamination,” the prelate called on the migrant workers.
“This will be for the best and safety of everybody, especially your families,” he said.
Bishop Santos called on returning migrant workers to heed the directives of the government and follow quarantine protocols.
“Have patience,” he said. “As you sacrifice many months, let us then make additional sacrifices of 14 days. Our sacrifice is for the safety of our family,” he said.
Authorities on Monday, May 18, announced stricter security measures in isolation sites after the reported escape of some repatriated migrant workers.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the search for the missing workers continued although one was already reported to be in the custody of authorities.
“I think there will be increased security in the different hotels that we are utilizing as quarantine areas,” said Roque.
Earlier, Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo said the migrant workers may face charges for violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.