Filipinos disembark from virus-stricken cruise ship off San Francisco

Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Mar 15 2020 09:10 AM | Updated as of Mar 15 2020 01:43 PM

Filipinos disembark from virus-stricken cruise ship off San Francisco 1
The Grand Princess cruise ship carrying passengers who have tested positive for coronavirus, seen at the Port of Oakland for a second night in Oakland, California, US March 10, 2020. Kate Munsch, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (UPDATE) - Over 400 Filipinos aboard the Grand Princess docked off the coast of San Francisco have disembarked the virus-stricken cruise ship and are scheduled to fly back to the Philippines late Saturday (Sunday afternoon in Manila).

A total of 444 Filipinos, of whom 438 are crew members and 6 are passengers, are expected to arrive at the Haribon Hangar in Clark Airbase, Pampanga, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

Upon returning to the Philippines, the repatriates will undergo quarantine for 14 days at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, located north of the capital Manila.

Ninety-one Filipino crew members decided to stay behind on the cruise ship to help man the vessel.

DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez said 13 Filipinos from the same ship were found positive for COVID-19 and put in U.S. health facilities.

Health screenings by the US Department of Health and Human Services were conducted during the disembarkation process of the Filipino repatriates.

The Philippine Consulate earlier appealed to US authorities to allow Filipinos who tested positive for the virus to disembark and be given medical treatment in a facility inland. US officials approved the request last Friday.-- with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News