Gov't scouts for quarantine location to house repatriated cruise ship workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2020 11:01 PM

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday said the government is currently looking for locations to quarantine Filipino cruise ship workers repatriated from vessels that had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

A group of 370 Filipino seafarers arrived Saturday from 3 cruise ships moored in COVID-19 hotbed Italy. 

Among them are 248 crew members of MV Costa Luminosa docked in Milan, and 122 sailors of MV Grandiosa and MV Opera in Rome.

"Even though none of them exhibited symptoms prior to repatriation, the DOH has mandated that all these crew members, particularly those who were on board ships that had COVID cases must undergo the 14-day quarantine period," said DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez. 

Italy on Saturday added some 800 deaths to its coronavirus death toll, which has surged past 10,000.

However, Meñez clarified that DFA will not be in charge of securing these quarantine locations.

"These arrangements are not done by the DFA. The appropriate agencies have ensured that the quarantine locations are fully secure and protocols established in previous successful repatriations will be followed," he said. 

The Philippines has recorded 71 deaths and 42 recoveries out of its 1,418 cases as of Sunday.