Filipinos infected with COVID-19 from Japan cruise ship rises to 80

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2020   •   411

MANILA, Philippines – The number of Filipinos who contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after staying aboard the M/V Diamond Princess in Japan has climbed to 80 on Tuesday, authorities said.

“Per Tokyo PE, 80 Filipinos from the Diamond Princess cruise have so far tested positive for Covid-19,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said in a Twitter post.

“10 have since been discharged w/ clean bill of health. Remaining Filipino crew for repatriation today have all tested negative,” he added.

In a separate media interview, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that most of the Filipinos found to be infected with the virus have been placed under isolation and treatment in Japanese hospitals.

Philippine authorities are set to repatriate Tuesday more than 400 Filipinos from the cruise ship.

Duque assured that they will be tested first to make sure that no one with an illness will come along the flight.

Those who will manifest symptoms will not be allowed to board the aircraft based on Japan’s quarantine laws.

Upon arrival in the Philippines, they will be brought to a facility at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said that its personnel are now at the Yohohama Port for the disembarkation of the Filipino crew.

A total of 538 Filipinos – 531 crew members and seven passengers – were aboard the cruise ship when it was placed on quarantine after one of its passengers tested positive for novel coronavirus disease earlier this month.

The DFA, however, said that not all Filipino crew members will be able to return home as some of them will be needed to stay behind to help in the ship’s continued operation and maintenance.

Over 600 Filipinos repatriated from UAE back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – More than 600 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) repatriated from the United Arab Emirates have arrived in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said a total of 648 Filipino repatriates returned home on Tuesday aboard two special commercial flights from Dubai.

The flights landed separately at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

The DFA said the flights were made possible in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates government, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai.

The department assured that repatriated Filipinos underwent appropriate airport medical protocols during their arrival.

They will also undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine against coronavirus disease as required by the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine.

LIST: Countries with travel bans and restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 29, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has released an updated list of countries with travel bans and restrictions related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In their social media post, the DFA posted the infographics on 10 countries that have updated their status on travel restrictions. The said infographics aim to inform Filipinos who are allowed to leave the Philippines.

The said countries include, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Mauritania.

“It is always best for the traveler to check ahead of travel dates with the airlines that will be used as well as with relevant Embassies or Consulates before departure or before booking a ticket,” the DFA said. AAC

Over 400 Filipinos repatriated from South Korea back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 425 stranded overseas Filipinos in South Korea have arrived in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said the repatriated Filipinos landed in Manila on June 23 via two special flights – Korean Air KE 623 and Asiana Airlines OZ 703.

The special flights were arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, with the support of the DFA, Department of Labor and Employment, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Manila International Airport Authority in cooperation with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.

“We will continue to work hard to extend vital assistance to our nationals here in South Korea, including arranging special passenger flights for our stranded kababayans so they can be reunited with their loved ones back home,” Charge d’Affaires, a.i. (CDA) Christian De Jesus said.

Prior to their departure, the repatriated Filipinos underwent briefing on the procedures for COVID-19 testing and quarantine upon their arrival in Manila. They also received vitamins and face masks from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

To date, the Philippine Embassy in Seoul has facilitated the return of close to 700 Filipinos in South Korea, both residents and transiting passengers, the DFA said.

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