MANILA, Philippines – Fifteen of the 16 Filipino repatriates from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who showed flu-like symptoms while quarantined at New Clark City (NCC) have tested negative for the coronavirus.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday, March 4, said that the 15 repatriates have already recovered from their symptoms and were asked to return to New Clark City to finish their 14-day quarantine.
“Labing-lima po sa kanila ay nakabalik na sa New Clark City dahil ang kanilang mga test ay negative na (Fifteen of them have already returned to New Clark City because they tested negative for the disease),” said DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Vergeire said the one remaining case at NCC is experiencing diarrhea.
The 16 repatriates are among the 538 Filipinos who had been quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess docked at the port of Yokohama, Japan, since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which infected a total of 763 people aboard the ship.
As of Wednesday, the DOH said it has probed into 662 cases for possible infection. Of this number, 620 have been discharged and 39 remain in hospitals. There had been 3 confirmed cases who were Chinese tourists. Two of them have already recovered and the other died. There is still no recorded local transmission in the country.
No definite time yet
Meanwhile, the DOH said that there is no definite time yet this week for the repatriation of Filipinos in Macau. The repatriates from Macau will be categorized as persons under monitoring (PUM).
PUMs are individuals who have not shown any symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but have traveled in the past 14 days to areas with issued travel restrictions, or have been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday, March 3, announced it will repatriate 148 Filipinos from Macau amid the continued global spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said it will repatriate 48 of its active members from the area. The repatriated Filipinos will return to the Philippines via a chartered flight, while OWWA members will arrive via one commercial flight.
The DOH said that the DFA and the OWWA will have separate repatriation intiatives. – Rappler.com