Key Filipino crewmen may be tapped to maintain, operate quarantined ship
MANILA, Philippines — A select group of Filipino crew members may be required to carry out key operational functions aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, even as over 400 others are scheduled to return home on Tuesday.
“As the situation developed, mukhang ang Diamond Cruises mismo ang nagsabi na titignan namin kung sino lang ang kailangan na crew members na essential para patuloy yung pagtakbo ng ship, maintenance siguro. Pero lahat ng hindi essential, kailangan na umuwi,” DFA Assistant Secretary Ed Meñez said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
(As the situation developed, Diamond Princess Cruises said it will determine the crew members who needed to continue operating the ship, maybe for maintenance. But others who are not essential must return home.)
Meñez said some 100 Filipino crew members earlier said they were willing to stay in the quarantined cruise ship.
“Even before na inannounce yung essential crew, I believe over 100 of our crew members, nagsabi na rin sila na they were willing to stay behind should it be required by the employer,” he added.
(Even before it was announced that essential crew members will be needed to stay behind, I believe over 100 of our crew members said they were willing to stay behind should it be required by the employer.
The DFA earlier said 538 Filipinos were aboard the quarantined cruise ship. DOH reported that 59 of them tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to Malacañang, 497 Filipinos aboard the cruise ship will be repatriated.
DFA said they are scheduled to return to the country by Tuesday, February 25, and will be brought to the quarantine facility at the New Clark City.
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