Repatriation of Filipinos in cruise ship sought after quarantine period
MANILA, Philippines — The Embassy of Japan and the owners of the MV Diamond Princess now quarantined at the Yokohama Port have requested the repatriation of 538 Filipinos at the end of the quarantine period for COVID-19 on February 19.
DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is still discussing the repatriation of Filipinos still undergoing quarantine in the vessel.
“The Japan Embassy and even the MV Diamond Princess has been saying that the quarantine period for passengers of the cruise ship as well as the crew members is already forthcoming, so they are targeting and requesting that if we can already do the repatriation once quarantine period is over,” she said in a press briefing on Monday.
According to Vergeire, the task force has yet to identify the facility that will be used to isolate all the Filipinos onboard the cruise ship once they return to the country.
She said all the Filipinos to be repatriated “will be considered for quarantine once they come back.”
A total of 27 Filipinos onboard the vessel have tested positive for COVID-19, including 16 new confirmed cases on Saturday, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The total number of infected individuals in the cruise ship has risen to 356.
The cruise ship was placed in quarantine at the Yokohama Port near Tokyo after an 80-year-old passenger tested positive for COVID-19 on February 1, a week after disembarking in Hong Kong. On February 3, the remaining 3,700 crew and passengers of the vessel were asked to stay in the ship.
The DFA assured that the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is closely coordinating with concerned government agencies here and Japan to ensure that the needs of the Filipino crew and passengers are met and to facilitate their return.
Edited by EDV
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