442 repatriates return home | Inquirer News

442 repatriates return home

CAPAS, Tarlac, Philippines — The 442 repatriates from the MV Diamond Princess were sent home on Wednesday after completing their 14-day quarantine at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City here.

“This [sendoff] is like a graduation. We’re delighted to see you return home to your families after God heard our prayers,” Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan told the repatriates who arrived here on Feb. 25 on two chartered flights.

Two of the original 445 repatriates from the cruise ship that berthed in Yokohama, Japan, were found to have contracted COVID-19, the Department of Health said on Tuesday. Another one has been taken to a Pampanga hospital after showing symptoms of COVID-19.


The repatriates belong to the second batch of Filipinos assisted by the government after it brought home an initial group of 30 from China’s Wuhan City, the epicenter of the virus.


“We will request the government to consider another area to host a quarantine facility if ever a third batch of repatriates arrives,” Catacutan said, referring to the city’s reluctance to host the returning Filipinos.

In Batanes province, local officials said they were convincing a Catholic priest based in Itbayat town to go on self-quarantine following his travels to Italy, France, and Israel where confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported.

Itbayat Mayor Raul de Sagon said the quarantine should be at the Batanes General Hospital in Basco since medical facilities in Itbayat had been damaged by last year’s quakes.

In Baguio City, the health department said it was awaiting delivery of COVID-19 test kits so that the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center could begin testing for the virus. It has been handling the quarantine of possible COVID-19 patients since January.

—With reports from Nathan Alcantara and Vincent Cabreza

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