MARIVELES, Bataan — None of the more than 1,000 Chinese workers at two coal-fired power plants here is afflicted with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), authorities said Thursday.
Mayor Jocelyn Castañeda, her consultant, lawyer Jose Michael Operario and the GN Power denied the presence of the deadly virus in the town, especially among the Chinese workers in the power plants in Barangay Alas-asin.
GN Power operates two 300-megawatt coal power plants and is in the process of constructing two 600-megawatt plants.
Bobit Racelis, GN Power vice president for community relations, said there are 1,000 Chinese workers and 2,000 Filipino workers in the plants.
Operario said two days ago, the municipal health office confirmed that officially, there was no case of novel coronavirus in the province.
“Dahil maraming Chinese dito, siyempre nagkaroon ng kaunting takot o alinlangan ang mga tao sa komunidad na baka merong infected Mariveles,” he said.
The company, however, said it has made some restrictions.
“At the moment, hindi daw sila nagpapasok ng mga galing sa mainland China. Nakahold ang entry ng mga mainlanders sa kanila (they reportedly do not allow to enter those come from mainland China. The entry of the mainlanders is on hold),” Operario said.
“Naka-ready naman ang probinsya pati ang munisipyo ng Mariveles sa pamumuno ni Mayor Jo na nag-establish ng mga protocols kung ano ang gagawin in case na merong reported cases and have established quarantine procedures. Naka-ready tayo (The province is ready, including the municipal government of Mariveles under the leadership of Mayor Jo that established some protocols on what to do in case there are reported cases and have established quarantine procedures. We are ready),” he said.
He admitted that the local government has no exact figures on the number of Chinese workers as GN Power is under the authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB).
Racelis also dispelled rumors being spread by some quarters.
“Ang kumakalat ay tsismis at dahil ito ay tsismis, ito ay hindi totoo. Kung talagang may sakit na dito na may coronavirus, dapat sarado na ang planta ngayon (There is a rumor spreading and since it is rumor, it is not true. If there is someone infected with coronavirus here, the plant should have been closed),” he said.
He said GN Power, being a responsible company, is ready for any eventuality.
“Tuloy ang aming pakikipag-ugnayan sa Department of Health para humingi din kami ng impormasyon sa kanila kung paano mai-prevent ang ganitong pangyayari,” Racelis said. (PNA)