Filipinos from virus-hit cruise ship back in PH

Filipinos repatriated from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have arrived back in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday, February 25.

The first batch — which carried 309 Diamond Princess crew members, two members of the DFA repatriation team, and four members of the Department of Health response team — arrived on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the second batch, which carried 136 passengers in addition to two members of the DFA team and five members from the DOH team, landed on Wednesday, February 26 for a total of 445 evacuees.

“After landing, all repatriates, as well as the DFA and DOH repatriation team members, and PAL flight crew were brought to the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, Tarlac for the 14-day quarantine program of the DOH,” the DFA said in a statement.

The repatriation did not include the 70 Filipinos who tested positive for the coronavirus disease, formally known as COVID-19.

Before landing at Clark, evacuees were again tested for flu-like symptoms. Those who manifested signs of respiratory illness were reportedly isolated in one area in the aircraft and will be taken to a government-identified hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the rest of the evacuees will all be placed under a 14-day quarantine at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, as part of government policy.

The Diamond Princess ship was quarantined on February 5 after a passenger tested positive for the potentially deadly disease. Four deaths have been recorded as of press time among the passengers who fell sick with the disease.

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