483 Filipino repatriates arrive; 6,000 more expected in coming weeks

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2020 07:39 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday confirmed that more than 400 Filipinos have been repatriated as more countries seek to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

“As of April 1, 49 repatriate batches or vessels ay naproseso na po natin,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing. “Sa mga ito, 4 na batches dumating na may 483 repatriates.”

(As of April 1, 49 repatriate batches or vessels have been processed…Of these, 4 batches of 483 repatriates have arrived.)

Vergeire said there are 45 more batches of vessels that are expected to arrive in the next 2 weeks. The ships will be carrying a total of 6,378 repatriates.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier reported the arrival of Filipino crew members of three cruise ships from Italy.

The crew members were brought to a quarantine facility monitored by the Bureau of Quarantine.

Of those who have already arrived, 9 have been classified as patients under investigation. They were allowed to return to the quarantine facility while two others were admitted to the Rizal Medical Center and the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines has facilitated the repatriation of hundreds of Filipinos working for international cruise ships that had to halt operations because of the outbreak. 

A number of them contracted the disease and had to be hospitalized abroad.

As of Wednesday, there have been 401 Filipinos abroad who are COVID-19 patients, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. Of that number, 270 are undergoing treatment and 118 have recovered. A total of 13 have died.

In the Philippines, there have been 2,311 confirmed COVID-19 cases.