Filipino crew member of Grand Princess cruise ship dies of COVID-19

JC Gotinga
Filipino crew member of Grand Princess cruise ship dies of COVID-19

AFP

‘We salute him for his dedication to his job and for the sacrifices that he had made for his family,’ says the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco

 

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino crew member of the Grand Princess cruise ship now anchored in San Francisco Bay in California died of COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 1, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco said on Saturday, April 4 (Philippine Time).

“We salute him for his dedication to his job and for the sacrifices that he had made for his family,” said Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr in a message of sympathy to the deceased’s family, relatives, and friends.

Bensurto said the Consulate General in San Francisco offered prayers during their online First Friday Mass for their fallen compatriot, whom he did not name.

The Consulate General would continue to coordinate with the concerned authorities for the appropriate handling of the remains, and to assist with formalities. It would also work with US authorities and Carnival Corporation, the ship’s operator, for the health and welfare of the Filipino crew members still onboard, and their eventual repatriation to the Philippines, Bensurto said.

A total of 444 Filipinos were flown home to the Philippines on March 16 – 438 crew and 6 passengers. They were immediately brought to the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, Tarlac, for their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Some 94 other Filipinos on the ship have since remained in the US, including 13 who have tested positive for the virus and transferred to health facilities.

The others were 78 crew members who opted to be part of the ship’s minimum operational workforce, and 3 passengers who reside in California.

The Philippines as of Saturday has recorded 3,094 coronavirus cases, including 144 deaths and 57 recoveries.

Worldwide, the death toll reached more than 50,000, while more than 1 million people have been infected in over 200 countries and territories – Rappler.com

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.