Filipinos in cruise ship who tested positive for COVID-19 now at 41
MANILA, Philippines — Forty-one Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked off Yokohama, Japan are infected with the COVID-19, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) disclosed Wednesday.
“Sa ngayon, we have 41 positive cases already for our crew sa ating Diamond Princess,” Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference at DOH main office.
(For now, we already have 41 positive cases within our crew on the Diamond Princess.)
Vergeire said they are constantly coordinating with the Japanese government and hospitals where the infected crew members are confined.
The Philippine Embassy in Japan announced earlier that it will be repatriating 538 Filipinos aboard the cruise ship.
Repatriation for Filipinos in cruise ship
Asked about the repatriation of Filipinos from the cruise ship, Vergeire noted that government’s repatriation will be conducted only with agreement with the Filipinos aboard the vessel.
“Pag-inuwi natin sila, this is voluntary. Tinanong na sila nung kanilang kung sino willing to go home, may bilang sila na talaga,” the health official said, noting that they have yet to give the exact number of those willing to be repatriated.
(If we repatriate them, this is voluntary. We asked them who are willing to go home, we already have a number.)
The DOH official also said they are planning to repatriate only one batch of Filipinos possibly through a chartered plane. She also stressed that only asymptomatic (no symptoms) Filipinos will ride the chartered plane.
Vergeire, however, said they are still coordinating with authorities regarding the location of the quarantine facility for the expected repatriated Filipinos from the cruise ship.
Previously, a team from the Department of Foreign Affairs and medical team from DOH repatriated 30 Filipinos from Wuhan City of Hubei province in China. The Filipinos from Wuhan arrived in the Philippines on Feb. 9.
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