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Now Reading: COVID IN JAPAN | Number of infected Filipinos aboard a cruise ship rises to 80
COVID IN JAPAN | Number of infected Filipinos aboard a cruise ship rises to 80
February 25, 2020 , 05:59 PM

FEBRUARY 25, 2020 – The number of Filipino crew and passengers aboard a cruise ship in Japan who were found infected by a deadly virus from China has risen to 80 as authorities sent two chartered flights to bring home about 400 others, a diplomat said on Tuesday.

Robespierre Bolivar, number two man at the Philippine embassy in Japan, said about 20 more Filipinos have been found positive to be infected with the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after tests made by the Japanese health authorities on all people aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked in a port in Yokohama, Japan.

The screenings were made before Japan allows the repatriation of all people aboard the ship.

“Everytime na may test na nag-positive, ‘yung Japanese health authorities immediately ino-offload po ‘yung mga pasyenteng nag-test positive from the boat and they are immediately admitted to Japanese medical facilities in
and around Tokyo area,” Bolivar said in an interview.

Nine of the 80 Filipinos have recovered and were discharged from medical facilities. They will be allowed to join about 400 others returning Tuesday night to the Philippines.

Two chartered flights were sent before noon to Haneda airport to pick up the Filipinos stranded aboard the British-flagged Diamond Princess.

All are expected to land at Clark airfield Tuesday night and will be brought to a sporting facility in Tarlac where they are to be placed under a 14-day quarantine period.

The first batch of 32 Filipinos from Wuhan, China were also placed under quarantine at the New Clark City have all been discharged after they were found to be free of the virus.

The Department of Health earlier said the Filipinos from the cruise ship will have to undergo a similar protocol with those from the central Wuhan City, China, epicenter of the outbreak.

The luxury cruise ship, which has about 3,700 people onboard, was not allowed entry at the Japanese port when it arrived in early February.

The entire ship was placed under a 14-day quarantine period after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man had tested positive for the virus after disembarking in Hong Kong on January 25.

The number of infected passengers has reportedly ballooned to 850 people and four people had died. (Karen Macalalad/MM)

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