Filipinos from virus-hit Grand Princess cruise ship to come home
Filipinos from Grand Princess cruise ship board a plane in San Francisco.
Department of Foreign Affairs, Handout

Filipinos from virus-hit Grand Princess cruise ship to come home

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - March 15, 2020 - 6:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos from the coronavirus-struck Grand Princess cruise ship are set to arrive in the Philippines on Monday.

The ship carrying 2,400 passengers was quarantined off Oakland in California after an outbreak on board saw 21 people test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

The chartered plane carrying the 438 crew members and six passengers of the cruise ship departed San Francisco around 9 p.m. (Pacific time), the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

“The repatriates underwent health screening upon disembarkation facilitated by the US Department of Health and Human Services,” DFA said.

After the Grand Princess repatriates arrive at Clark Airbase early Monday morning, they will be immediately transported to the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, where they will be subjected to 14-day quarantine.

Ninety-one Filipino crew members volunteered to remain onboard the ship to “comprise the Minimum Safe Manning and Minimum Operational Manning teams.”

Last week, 442 Filipinos from another virus-hit cruise ship were sent home after completing their mandatory quarantine. Two of the evacuees from the Diamond Princess tested positive for COVID-19.

The Grand Princess and the Diamond Princess cruise ships are vessels of the US cruise line Princess Cruises. In response to the new coronavirus pandemic, the company announced it will pause global operations for two months.

The confirmed cases in the Philippines stood at 140 Sunday, with 11 fatalities.

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has surpassed 156,000 worldwide with more than 5,800 fatalities.

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