DFA brings more Pinoy crew of cruise ships home
MANILA, Philippines — More than 500 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived home on Sunday as the government entered its fifth day of repatriations, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The latest batch of repatriates consisted of 86 crew members of the Carnival Pride and 137 crew members of the Carnival Fascination, both cruise ships from the United States.
Another batch of 303 workers from Kuwait who availed of the ongoing amnesty program for overstaying migrant workers arrived on Sunday.
According to the DFA, a total of 4,349 ship crew members have been repatriated since more than 400 Filipinos from the Diamond Princess cruise ship from Japan were airlifted on Feb. 25.
Meanwhile one of the crew members of the Grand Princess cruise ship from California succumbed to COVID-19 on April 1, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco said.
The DFA said some 6,000 crew members of cruise ships, either stricken by the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or grounded due to the global travel ban, are expected to arrive in the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, 22 more OFWs died of COVID-19 while 51 more were confirmed to have been infected, in the highest surge of cases since the DFA began providing a summary of cases among migrant workers a week ago.
Out of the 517 confirmed cases as of April 4, 343 Filipinos are undergoing treatment abroad while 131 have recovered.
A total of 43 Filipinos abroad have died of COVID-19: 20 in the Americas; 19 in Europe; three in the Middle East; and one in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the DFA.
The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration have repatriated nearly 700 OFWs from Kuwait and various cruise ships over the weekend.
—Reports from Dona Z. Pazzibugan and Jerome Aning
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