By Priam Nepomuceno

(Photo courtesy of Office of Civil Defense)

MANILA – The Philippine Emergency Medical Assistance Team (PEMAT) in Türkiye has so far catered to 603 Turkish patients as of Sunday (local time).

“The PEMAT catered ambulatory cases and referral of cases requiring hospitalization. A total of 603 patients were catered by the PEMAT,” the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said in a bulletin on Monday, when asked for updates about the Philippine Inter-Agency Humanitarian Contingent (PIAHC) which is currently deployed in Türkiye’s southeastern city of Adiyaman.

It also said the urban search and rescue (USAR) team, attached to PIAHC, is currently on standby and waiting for requests for assistance on retrieval operations coming from the Turkish local government unit.

“USAR team is currently placed on standby awaiting requests for assistance on retrieval operations. Last number of buildings assessed: 38, cadavers retrieved: 4,” OCD said.

OCD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV earlier said Ankara will no longer accept a second contingent from Manila to help in operations in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked the country last Feb. 6.

The Turkish government, however, said the Philippines can send or donate non-food items, he added. (PNA)