MANILA: Filipino crew members and passengers from the virus-hit Diamond Princess will be repatriated, said the Health Department.
According to the Manila Times, 41 Filipinos had contracted the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) while on board the cruise ship which docked in Japan.
Assistant Secretary of Health, Maria Rosaria Vergeire, said they had since been admitted and those who tested negative would be flown back to the Philippines.
“They will be repatriated once the Japanese government gives clearance, which we expect will be within the next few days.
“We have to carefully coordinate the process with the Japanese government and its foreign ministers as well as the cruise ship owner.”
She added that they had prepared a quarantine area for those concerned. The department said there were 538 Filipinos on the cruise ship, but around 100 of them refused repatriation.
The manning agency that hired the Filipinos said it would shoulder the expenses for their repatriation.
“We cannot yet say when they will be repatriated. We need to wait for the instructions from Japan’s Health Ministry,” Magsaysay People Resources Corp president and chief executive officer Marlon Roño said.
Rono added that they expected one Filipino crew member infected by Covid-19 to be released soon.
“We received information that the crew member is okay now. We hope he will be discharged from the medical facility in Yokohama after recuperating,” he said.
“Those found infected with Covid-19 will receive their full salary. Even under quarantine here, they will be paid in full.”