PH to ‘rescue’ pinoy crew of virus-hit cruise ship

February 16, 2020
Diamond Princess
THE Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new coronavirus,
remains docked at the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port Sunday. The number of people who
have tested positive for the new coronavirus on a quarantined ship has risen to 355, the Japan's health minister said. AFP/Behrouz MEHRI

Labor chief confirms plan to bring home Pinoy crew members of cruise ship quarantined in Japan

Number of infected on cruise ship rises

LABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello said in a radio interview that the government is set to bring home the Filipino crew members of the COVID-19-stricken cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan.  

Bello told radio DZMM he had learned of the plan to repatriate the Filipinos on the Diamond Princess cruise ship but did not know exactly when.

Eleven Filipino crew members of the luxury ship were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as of Thursday.  

One of them was  the first known case of a Filipino infected with the virus.
Infected rise to 355

The number of people infected with the deadly new coronavirus on a quarantined ship off Japan has risen to 355, the country’s health minister said Sunday, as the United States, Canada and Hong Kong prepare to repatriate their residents on board.

The figure is a jump of 70 cases from a government tally released Saturday and comes as Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato voiced worries that the rising infection count among the nation’s general population could mean the virus’s spread has entered a new phase.

“So far, we have conducted tests for 1,219 individuals. Of those, 355 people tested positive,” Kato told a roundtable discussion for public broadcaster NHK on conditions aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The vessel has been in quarantine since February 5 at the port of Yokohama near Tokyo and Japan’s efforts to control the viral infections on board have prompted international concern.

The ship was carrying more than 3,700 passengers and crew from more than 50 countries and territories when it docked and was placed in isolation, after authorities found a passenger who got off in Hong Kong during the voyage had tested positive for the virus.

Japanese officials continued to find new infections among the passengers and crew and rushed them to local hospitals, while others have been told to stay inside their cabins during the 14-day quarantine period set to end Wednesday.

The US was preparing Sunday to evacuate some of its citizens but said those repatriated will go through another two-week quarantine period at home.  With AFP