The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Health (DOH) today repatriated 444 Overseas Filipinos (OFs) from the M/V Grand Princess cruise ship docked in the Port of Oakland in California, USA early morning of March 16, 2020.
Among the 444 repatriated OFs are 438 crew members and six (6) passengers. The repatriates underwent health screening upon disembarkation from the cruise ship facilitated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Information regarding the repatriates is currently being validated.
“While the US government did not perform any mass confirmatory testing for our repatriates, only those who are asymptomatic were allowed to board the plane home. We will conduct testing for our repatriates immediately once they have settled. To echo our President, our priority now is to bring them home and ensure that they are well-taken care of,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.
“In the meantime, we will be observing strict quarantine and containment procedures for our kababayans. Those who would display symptoms upon deplaning will be isolated and tested, and those who are asymptomatic will undergo the 14-day quarantine at NCC. The DOH will continuously monitor the condition of our repatriates and ensure that they are given appropriate health services, until they complete the required quarantine procedure,” the Health Chief added.
All quarantined individuals will be assessed daily, where temperature check and physical assessment will be done.
They will be provided with food, hygiene kits, and appropriate health services. An ambulance team is also on standby 24/7 to conduct hospital referrals, if needed.
DOH hospitals in Central Luzon are prepared to cater to those who may manifest respiratory symptoms or fever.
Concurrently, 78 Filipino crew members volunteered to remain onboard to be part of the essential manning of the ship, while 13 COVID-19 positive Filipino cases were referred to a healthcare facility for proper isolation and management. DOH.GOV.PH