881 Filipinos from cruise ships in U.S. now back in PH

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino repatriates from 4 cruise ships stranded in the United States due to the novel coronavirus arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday, April 1.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said 881 Filipinos arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport through chartered flights which landed on Wednesday morning.  

The group was composed of 445 seafarers from Norwegian Cruise Line ships Dawn and Encore, and another 436 from MV Magica and MV Favolosa.

The DFA gave assurances that the repatriated seafarers will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, monitored by the Bureau of Quarantine.

Wednesday's repatriates are the second batch repatriated from the US. The first batch was comprised of 444 Filipinos from the MV Grand Princess cruise ship who arrived last March 15.  

The Philippine embassy in Washington DC coordinated with government agencies and the seafarers' manning agencies for their repatriation.

The latest batch of repatriates is the 6th group that the DFA has brought home from areas affected by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

The DFA earlier repatriated Filipinos from Hubei, China, where the virus 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 recorded 2,048 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, March 31, including 88 deaths and 49 recoveries.

The global death toll has surpassed 40,000, while more than 840,000 have been infected in over 180 countries and territories. – Rappler.com

 

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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