Some 400 Filipinos aboard virus-hit Japan ship to return home: DOH


Posted at Feb 25 2020 09:48 AM | Updated as of Feb 25 2020 10:38 PM

Some 400 Filipinos aboard virus-hit Japan ship to return home: DOH 1
Philippine authorities prepare for the disembarkation of the Filipino crew of cruise ship Diamond Princess moored off Yokohama, Japan. February 25, 2020. DFA/Handout

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Philippines is set to bring home Tuesday more than 400 Filipinos aboard virus-stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess off Japan, the Department of Health said.

Two chartered flights will bring home 456 passengers, 9 members of the DOH, and 6 officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque.

The flights will leave Haneda Airport at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., he added. Upon arrival, the Filipinos will be quarantined at the New Clark City in Tarlac for 14 days, Duque said.

"Sisiguraduhin pa 'yan na walang makakasama na may karamdaman," Duque told radio DZMM.

(We still have to make sure no one with an illness will come along.)

"Maiiwan kapag merong sintomas. Hindi nila pwedeng pasakayin batay sa kanilang quarantine laws."

(Those with symptoms will stay there. They're not allowed to board based on Japan's quarantine laws.)

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, Philippine authorities are at the Yokohama Port for the disembarkation of the cruise ship's Filipino crew, the DFA said.

At least 80 Filipinos onboard the ship have tested positive for the virus, of which 10 have been discharged from the hospital, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said, making it the biggest group of infected Filipinos yet.

The vessel, moored off the Japanese coast in Yokohama near Tokyo, is among the biggest clusters of coronavirus infections outside the Chinese epicenter, with over 600 cases confirmed among the 3,700 passengers and crew.

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