The second batch of Filipino repatriates from MV Diamond Princess board an ambulance that will bring them to New Clark City in Tarlac, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.
Filipinos from virus-hit cruise ship arrive home
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - February 26, 2020 - 9:08am

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 445 Filipinos from the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship moored off the Japanese coast arrived in the Philippines Tuesday night.

The first repatriation flight—carrying 309 crew members of Diamond Princess, two members of the DFA repatriation team and four members of the DOH response team—arrived at Clark, Pampanga at 10:10 p.m. Tuesday.

The second batch of repatriates—including 136 passengers in addition to two members of the DFA team and five members from the DOH team—landed at around 12:12 a.m. Wednesday.

"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.



A total of 538 Filipino crew members and passengers were aboard the Japanese cruise ship, 80 of which have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been admitted to Japanese hospitals.

The homecoming date of over 400 Filipinos was initially set last week but the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease decided to move the schedule of evacuation “out of an abundance of caution with a view of safeguarding the health and safety” of overseas Filipinos on board the vessel.

Diamond Princess was quarantined on February 5 after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong tested positive for the potentially deadly disease. While passengers were confined to their cabins, many crew members were not isolated because they were needed to keep the ship running.

Four people have so far died after becoming sick on the vessel.

The situation in virus epicenter China appeared to be calming but the situation is worsening in other nations with more than 2,000 cases and 30 deaths reported abroad. — with report from Agence France-Presse

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