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2 more repatriates from cruise ship in Japan show flu-like symptoms – DOH

Michelle Abad
(UPDATED) The patients are among the 445 Filipinos who have been repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama

REPATRIATED. The government begins efforts to repatriate Filipinos from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. They had been quarantined following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus on the ship. Photo from the Department of Foreign Affairs

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Friday, February 28, that two more repatriates from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan showed flu-like symptoms.

This brings the number of symptomatic repatriates to 5. Three, not feverish, were reported to exhibit symptoms on Thursday, February 27. However, the DOH announced that 2 of them had already tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The remaining 3 are awaiting results. 

The two new persons under investigation were brought to a referral health facility due to sore throat. Their specimens were collected and sent for testing at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

“While we are still waiting for the other test results, we assure the public that our referral hospitals are well-equipped and prepared to handle COVID-19 cases once they arise. Our health response team at the quarantine facility is being extra cautious to prevent further health risks,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Of the 538 Filipinos who were previously quarantined on the cruise ship docked in Yokohama, a total of 445 were repatriated late Tuesday night, February 25. They went through several layers of screening before, during, and after the flight to ensure they were asymptomatic and coronavirus-free.

All the Filipino repatriates from Diamond Princess are subject to another 14 days of quarantine from their arrival in New Clark City.

Eighty Filipino crew members have so far tested positive for COVID-19. These confirmed cases were left behind in hospitals in Japan.

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.