Hundreds of Pinoys from Covid 19 hit cruise ship home soon

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported that 59 of the 538 Filipinos from the M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship have so far tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 2019) while more than 400 are negative and asymptomatic.

"Iyong 59 na positibo, sila ay nasa hospital facility binabantayan at ginagamot, hindi po muna sila makakasama (The 59 positive, they're in a hospital facility being monitored and treated, they can't go home yet), when they're able to test negative 48 hours apart, we can give them clearance," Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing at the DOH main office.

Vergeire confirmed the Filipinos who tested negative will be repatriated on Tuesday via two carriers.

"Hindi kami makapagsabi ng esaktong numero dahil doon sa mga protocols na gagawin natin (We're unable to give the exact numbers because of the protocols to be done), by tomorrow with final arrangements and protocols completed, then we'll be able to know how many passed our screening procedures," she said.

Under the repatriation plan, the DOH will screen and only allow the repatriation of Filipinos negative for Covid 19 who will be checked for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness.

Only asymptomatic individuals will be allowed to disembark from the ship, take the bus to the airport, and board the aircraft back to the country.

While aboard the aircraft from Japan to Clark International Airport, regular monitoring will be done and individuals who will manifest signs of respiratory illness will be separated and isolated in one area of the aircraft.

"Pagdating po dito sa atin, kung sino lamang po ang magkakaroon ng sintomas during the 14 day quarantine, 'yun po and ire repeat test natin pagdating po sa referral facility natin (Upon arrival here, only those who'll exhibit symptoms during the 14 day quarantine, they'll have a repeat test at our referral facility), we have to make sure that they are all negative when we release them from the 14 day quarantine period," Vergeire said.

During the 14 day quarantine procedure, 20 medical teams from DOH hospitals will manage the quarantine facility at the New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac to provide appropriate health services.

Patients will be checked twice a day and provided with food and basic provisions.

We will ensure that Infection Control and Quarantine Protocols will be strictly followed by our kababayans and the health workers that will man the quarantine facility. DOH and its partners will be working doubly hard to ensure the safety and welfare of the quarantined patients, as well as civilians in the vicinity, Vergeire said.


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