THE Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said 1,100 Filipino workers from the US, Indonesia, Singapore and Kenya have returned amid the coronavirus disease pandemic that has sickened 2.4 million and killed 165,000 people worldwide.
In a statement, the agency said 867 Filipino sailors arrived on Monday from Florida, in separate batches.
“This is the third straight week since the DFA facilitated the series of repatriations that followed the catastrophic economic impact wrought by the COVID-19 global pandemic,” it said.
The Filipinos worked as crewmen of the Norwegian Pearl, Sky, Star, Sun and Escape.
The Norwegian Cruise Lines covered the airfare, while local manning agency CF Sharp shouldered other transportation costs and the quarantine facility.
This followed the arrival of 233 Filipino workers from Indonesia, Kenya and Singapore on Sunday evening, bringing the total number of repatriates to almost 18,000 out of DFA’s 20,000 target beneficiary.
The repatriation was facilitated by the Philippine Embassies in Jakarta, Singapore, and Nairobi and the Philippine Consulate General in Manado, Indonesia.
All the repatriates were advised to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at facilities named by the Bureau of Quarantine.
The DFA earlier said 984 Filipinos overseas have been infected with the coronavirus disease 2019. It said 585 were still being treated, 259 have recovered and 140 patients have died.
Among those who died was Erik Belfrage, Philippine Honorary Consul General in Stockholm on April 18 due to complications related to COVID-19. He is survived by wife Anna, brother Frank and his children, DFA said. – Charmaine A. Tadalan