DFA: 13,000 OFWs flown home amid COVID-19 pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — At least 13,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have so far been brought home to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
In a statement on Monday, the DFA said the number of Filipino repatriates breached the 13,000-mark when the chartered flight carrying 668 seafarers arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The said batch of repatriates was composed of 228 crew members of Costa Fascinosa from Brazil and 440 seafarers of Norwegian Getaway from New Orleans.
The 228 cruise ship workers were fetched from the tarmac and transported directly to their designated quarantine facility after undergoing quarantine protocols, the DFA said.
Meanwhile, the other 440 seafarers from Norwegian Getaway were assisted by their local manning agency CF Sharp, which provided their onward transportation as the repatriates subject themselves to home-based quarantine.
“The Philippine Embassies in Brasilia and Washington D.C. facilitated this batch’s repatriation. Both groups were transported via chartered flights paid accordingly by their cruise companies, Costa Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines,” the DFA said.
More seafarers are expected to return home as the DFA continues its effort to extend assistance to OFWs in countries affected by the pandemic.
Latest data released by the DFA showed that there have been 660 overseas Filipino who tested positive for COVID-19.
Of the number, 384 patients are still undergoing treatment while 192 have so far recovered.
There are 84 deaths reported so far.
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