MANILA - The number of Filipinos confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) while on board a quarantined cruise ship moored off Japan has climbed to 11, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.
All of the Filipinos who got the virus are crew members of Diamond Princess, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
"All of them are now confined in various hospitals in and around the Tokyo area," the agency said in a statement, adding they are responding well to treatment.
The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo has sent supplies to the patients and also those still quarantined inside the ship.
"An embassy team also visited the hospitals this afternoon to speak with the doctors and social workers assigned to the Filipino patients in order to ensure their well-being," the agency added.
The ship has been kept in quarantine since Feb. 3 after a passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong, was found to be infected with the virus.
Passengers are expected to stay until Feb. 19, 14 days after the isolation period began.
A Filipino crew member of the ship was among 10 people who earlier tested positive of the new coronavirus. The sailor was the first known case of a Filipino infected with COVID-19.
Also on Thursday, Japanese authorities confirmed that another 44 people inside the ship tested positive of the virus.
They raise the number of infections detected on the ship to 218, in addition to a quarantine officer who also tested positive for the virus.
Of the newly diagnosed cases, 43 are passengers, and one a member of the crew.
So far, 713 people have been tested, with officials saying they are currently limited by capacity. The ship carries an estimated 3,600 passengers.
The DFA also clarified that "no Filipinos [were] included in a new group of 44 persons who tested positive for the virus." - with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News