Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — A total of 444 Filipinos aboard the MV Grand Princess are set to be repatriated Sunday afternoon, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The Grand Princess, which carried some 3,500 people, has been held off the coast of California and put under quarantine after a passenger onboard a previous trip died from the coronavirus disease or COVID-19. The 71-year-old man, who reportedly had underlying medical conditions, is the first death from the viral disease confirmed by the state of California.
Out of the 444 Filipinos to be repatriated, 438 are crew members, while 6 are passengers, the DFA said in a press release. “All underwent health screening upon disembarkation facilitated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” it added.
Meanwhile, 13 Filipinos from the ship are in United States health facilities after testing positive for COVID-19.
The repatriates are expected to arrive at the Haribon Hangar in Clark Airbase, Pampanga and will undergo, upon arrival, a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City. There, the DFA assured they will be given “full medical attention of health professionals from the Department of Health.”
“A total of 91 Filipino crew members volunteered to remain onboard the ship to comprise the Minimum Safe Manning and Minimum Operational Manning teams,” the DFA added.
Princess Cruises, the company that owns Grand Princess, also owns another cruise ship previously docked in the port of Yokohoma, Japan and quarantined for nearly a month after passengers were found to be infected with COVID-19. An estimated 700 people on board the ship eventually tested positive for the virus, with seven resulting in death. Of the estimated 3,700 passengers aboard the ship, 445 Filipinos were repatriated and quarantined in Tarlac.
Source : CNN Philippines