Repatriation of Filipinos aboard virus-hit cruise ship postponed

first_imgThe cruise ship Diamond Princess is pictured beside a Japanese flag as it lies at anchor while workers and officers prepare to transfer passengers who tested positive for coronavirus, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan on Feb. 12, 2020. REUTERS MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH)on Saturday announced the postponement of the scheduled repatriation of almost500 Filipinos onboard the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship inYokohama, Japan.The DOH said in a statement that the Inter-Agency Task Force on EmergingInfectious Disease will move the supposed repatriation today to early next weekas a cautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of the Filipinosonboard.“This is to allow the Japanese health authorities to complete thelaboratory testing of the 400-plus Filipino crew members aboard the ship andcomply with the established protocols,” the DOH said.The postponement also gave the assurance that the Japanese government isworking to ensure that appropriate services are being provided to the affectedpassengers.“Our Tokyo Embassy is working closely with the Japanese health and foreignministry to complete the quarantine protocols for the Philippine Government torepatriate our Filipino crew members as soon as possible,” it added.The Malacañang earlier said that 497 Filipinos have confirmed their intentionto be flown over the weekend. The repatriated Filipinos will stay at theAthlete’s Village in New Clark City for a 14-day quarantine period.“The Office of the President also assures the public that allprecautionary measures and safety protocols are in place for the seamlessrepatriation of our countrymen from Japan,” Panelo said.A total of 538 Filipinos are aboard the Diamond Princess. Of the number, 41Filipinos are confirmed to be positive for the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19). The cruise ship and the 3,711 passengers on board were placed under quarantineon February 3 after a former passenger tested positive for the virus. Itspassengers began disembarking last Wednesday after the 14-day quarantineperiod.The Filipinos from the Japan cruise ship will be the second batch of repatriatedFilipinos to stay at the NCC with the first being Filipinos who wererepatriated from COVID-hit Wuhan and Hubei Province in China./PNlast_img

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