MANILA, Philippines – As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine government has repatriated over 4,600 Filipinos working abroad.
Majority of Filipinos who were brought back home were stranded in cruise ships and countries due to travel restrictions in place to quell the spread of COVID-19.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez said more than 4,600 Filipinos have been repatriated since the start of the outbreak. Of this number, 4,349 were seafarers from cruise ships.
In a series of repatriations, the DFA brought home the following Filipinos over the last week:
- 445 seafarers from Norwegian Cruise Line ships Dawn and Encore from the United States
- 436 crew from MV Magica and MV Favolosa from the United States
- 80 crew from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan
- 900 seafarers from Norwegian Cruise Line ships Dawn and Star, MSC Armonia, Meraviglia, Seaside, and Divina Cruise ships from Miami, Florida
- 79 seafarers from Carnival Pride, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Breeze, and MS World Odyssey. They arrived from Miami, Florida.
- 123 seafarers from Spain, of which 64 were from Marella Celebration and 59 MS World Odyssey
- 248 crew members of MSC Divina from the United States
- 201 crew members from MV Carnival Victory from Spain
- 303 distressed overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait
- 122 crew of the MSC Fantasia from Italy
- 185 crew from the MSC Splendida from Portugal
- 83 crew from MS Breamar from the United Kingdom
- 86 crew from Carnival Pride from the United States
- 137 from Carnival Fascination from the United States
- 301 Filipino workers from Kuwait
- 16 crew from Amadea from Frankfurt, Germany
The DFA gave assurances that Filipinos who were repatriated were subject to health measures and reviews, and will undergo quarantine, supervised by the Bureau of Quarantine.
Before the series of repatriations in the last week, the DFA earlier repatriated Filipinos from Hubei, China, where the novel coronavirus originated; from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan; from Macau; from a quarantined cruise ship in Oakland, California; and cruise ships docked in Italy.
The Philippines has so far confirmed 3,246 coronavirus cases, including 152 deaths and 64 recoveries.
Worldwide, the death toll has surpassed 65,000, while more than 1.2 million have been infected in 190 countries and territories. – Rappler.com