Filipino crew member aboard Grand Princess cruise ship dies of COVID-19
This image grab made frame video released by the California National Guard on March 5, 2020 shows Airmen from the Moffett Federal Airfield base, 129th Rescue Wing arriving by helicopter to deliver test kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California. US health officials conducted tests aboard a cruise ship off the coast of San Francisco on March 5 to determine if any of its nearly 3,500 passengers and crew have contracted the new coronavirus. Some of the stranded passengers on board the Grand Princess who have shown flu-like symptoms were being tested after one 71-year-old man who had been on board the ship on a previous voyage died from the virus.
AFP/California National Guard, Handout

Filipino crew member aboard Grand Princess cruise ship dies of COVID-19

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - April 4, 2020 - 3:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino crew member of the coronavirus-struck Grand Princess cruise ship docked in California in the United States has succumbed to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco confirmed on Saturday locally.

"I wish to extend our sympathy and condolences to the family and co-workers of the Grand Princess crew member, who passed away on April 1 (Pacific Standard Time). It is with deep sadness that we join his family, relatives and friends, in mourning his passing,” Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr. said in a statement posted Saturday afternoon locally.

“We salute him for his dedication to his job and for the sacrifices that he had made for his family. Earlier today during our online First Friday Mass we offered our prayers for the eternal repose of his soul.”

The consulate general is set to coordinate with proper authorities on the handling of the deceased crew member's remains and assist with other formalities.

He will also communicate with concerned authorities in the United States on protecting and repatriating the remaining Filipino crew members.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than a million people all over the world, not least our overseas Filipinos who continue to work abroad to give their families back home a better future. We continue to pray and work for the safety of overseas Filipinos and the remaining Filipino crew members of Grand Princess,” read the statement.

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Over 400 Filipino crew personnel and passengers on the Grand Princess flew back to the Philippines in mid-March, subjected to a 14-day quarantine in the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City upon returning.

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

As of March 21, a total of 78 of the 469 people on the Grand Princess with available test results were confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2, according to a report from the United States-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. — With reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico

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