MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): The 27 Filipinos aboard the cruise ship MV Diamond Princess now quarantined at Japan’s Yokohama Port — and tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) — cannot join the possible repatriation to be mounted by the Philippine government, the chief of the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday (Feb 18).
“They won’t join because they are showing symptoms, ” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in an interview over radio station DZMM when asked if the infected Filipinos will be repatriated.
“The screening process will be done before they disembark from the ship and before they board the plane, ” Duque added.
Earlier, it was reported that the Embassy of Japan and the owners of the cruise ship requested the repatriation of all the 538 Filipino passengers and crew members aboard the MV Diamond Princess when the quarantine period ends on Feb 19.
DOH Assistant Secretary Dr Maria Rosario Vergeire, during a press conference on Monday, said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is still discussing the matter of possible repatriation.
According to Duque, those who tested positive for Covid-19 are being cared for by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
As for those who can join the repatriation, Duque said that they will have to go through another “fresh round” of 14-day quarantine. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
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