MANILA - More than 800 Filipino seafarers repatriated from cruise ships docked in the United States were placed under quarantine after arriving in the Philippines on Wednesday.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the seafarers cleared medical tests before arriving in the country but were placed in isolation to prevent a possible transmission of COVID-19.
The Bureau of Quarantine is monitoring the repatriates in a facility designated by government for persons under observation for any signs of COVID-19.
Earlier in the day, 445 Filipino sailors from the Norwegian cruise ships Dawn and Encore arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. At least 436 Filipino crew from the MV Magica and MV Favolosa ships docked in the US also arrived that day.
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Sarah Lou Arriola said they will continue to respond to calls for help from Filipinos stranded abroad due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the weekend, around 370 Filipino crew from three cruise ships in virus-stricken Italy were also repatriated and went on quarantine.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac meanwhile appealed to local government officials not to discriminate against repatriated Filipinos, especially those from places hit severely by COVID-19.--Report from Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News