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More seafarers return to PH as COVID-19 pandemic persists

/ 06:20 PM April 07, 2020

Some 65 Filipino seafarers from Brazil and Germany arrive in Manila on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

MANILA, Philippines — More than 340 Filipino seafarers arrived Tuesday in the country as the Philippine government repatriates Filipino workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), 278 seafarers from five Carnival cruise ships as well as 24 Filipino crew members of Scenic Eclipse from Brazil and 41 seafarers of MS Amadea from Germany landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Tuesday afternoon.

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“The DFA, through The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C, facilitated the repatriation of this batch of distressed seafarers from Carnival ships Horizon, Magic, Ecstasy, Conquest, and Sunshine,” the department said.

The repatriates underwent thorough mandatory inspection and quarantine protocols supervised by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), according to DFA.

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“Local manning agency United Philippine Lines (UPL) purchased the repatriates’ flight tickets, and provided onward transportation as well as quarantine accommodations pre-approved by the BOQ,” DFA said.

On Monday, DFA welcomed a total of 778 Filipino seafarers – 599 from five Carnival cruise ships from New Orleans and 79 from five other Carnival cruise ships also from the United States.

All of them likewise underwent thorough mandatory inspection and quarantine protocols supervised by the BOQ.

To date, 569 Filipinos overseas have tested positive for COVID-19, a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2.

Of the total, 346 are still undergoing treatment while 158 managed to recover and already discharged from the hospital.

Meanwhile, 65 Filipinos abroad have died from the disease.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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