A DAY before the Filipinos on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan were set to return to the country, 10 more of them tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Health said yesterday.
The 10 new cases raised to 59 the total number of Filipinos who had been infected while on the vessel, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference in Malacañang.
Two of them had recovered and were discharged from the hospital.
Five more are expected to be released from medical facilities within the week, according to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Ed Meñez.
On Sunday Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. tweeted that the repatriation of more than 400 Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan is set today (Feb. 25).
“So far 25 Feb is repatriation day,” Locsin said on his official twitter account as he thanked the Japanese Government for taking good care of the Filipinos especially those who tested positive for the virus.
Filipinos on the ship have to undergo tests for corona virus disease-19 and should complete the 14-day quarantine before they are given clearance by Japanese health authorities for repatriation.
Those who have tested positive for the virus were transferred to medical facilities for treatment.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Brigido J. Dulay said that the DFA, together with the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, is doing its best to bring home the Filipinos aboard the MV Diamond Princess which is presently the site of the highest number of COVID-19 cases outside of China.
The repatriated Filipinos will stay at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City (NCC) for a 14-day quarantine period.
They will be the second batch of repatriated Filipinos to stay at the NCC with the first being Filipinos who were repatriated from COVID-hit Wuhan and Hubei Province in China.
Pinoy in Singapore
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said a Filipino national in Singapore who tested positive for COVID-19 is now in isolation.
According to the Philippine Embassy in Singapore, the Filipino is now in one of Singapore’s hospitals.
The Embassy is in close coordination with the Ministry of Health of Singapore and stands ready to provide all consular assistance to the patient as needed.
All Filipinos in Singapore are likewise encouraged to continue to maintain vigilance, observe proper hygiene, avoid crowds or large gatherings and frequently monitor personal health.
Those who develop fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing, are advised to see a doctor immediately.