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COVID-HIT CRUISE SHIP | Infected Filipinos rise to 59, two recover from disease
February 24, 2020 , 01:21 PM

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 – Ten more Filipinos were found to be infected with the deadly coronavirus aboard a cruise ship docked at a port in Japan, government officials said on Monday, as they set into motion a plan to bring home hundreds of its passengers and crew.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there are now a total of 59 Filipinos who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and two have already recovered.

Five more are due to be discharged from hospitals within the week, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ed Meñez said.

On Saturday, authorities postponed the repatriation of about 400 Filipino passengers and crew aboard the British-flagged Diamond Princess as the Japanese health officials have yet to complete their tests.

The government has reset to bring them home on Monday, February 24.

“Under the repatriation plan, the Department of Health (DOH) will screen and only allow the repatriation of overseas Filipinos who are negative for COVID-19,” Vergeire said.

“Overseas Filipinos negative for the coronavirus will be checked for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness and only asymptomatic individuals will be allowed to disembark from the ship, take the bus to the airport, and board the aircraft back to the Philippines,” she said.

The Filipinos will be then placed under quarantine in the New Clark City Athletes’ Village for 14 days and will be the observed closely by teams of medical personnel from different hospitals.

READ ALSO: MERCY FLIGHT FROM JAPAN | PH to bring home 500 Filipinos aboard a virus infected ship

The luxury cruise ship, which carries around 3,700 people, was placed under a 14-day quarantine period after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man tested positive for the virus after disembarking in Hong Kong on January 25.

About 630 passengers aboard the cruise ship have been tested positive for coronavirus and at least three have died.

Three other Filipinos were reported infected in Hong Kong and in Dubai. (Karen Macalalad/MM)

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