ALMOST 1,400 Filipinos from the US, Kuwait and Qatar have come home amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic that has sickened 1.3 million and killed almost 75,000 people worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.
The agency said 778 seamen arrived on Monday and another batch of 278 crewmen arrived on Tuesday from 12 Carnival Cruise ships docked in Miami.
Local manning agency United Philippine Lines helped the Filipinos by providing land transportation and quarantine accommodation, while Carnival Cruise assisted by buying their air tickets.
The crewmen came from Carnival cruise ships Conquest, Dream, Ecstasy, Fantasy, Fascination, Glory, Horizon, Legend, Magic, Panorama, Sunshine and Vista.
DFA said also among those who returned were 23 Filipino workers who took refuge at a shelter under the Philippine Embassy in Doha, Qatar. The remaining 302 were distressed migrant workers from Kuwait, it said.
More than 300 Filipinos from Kuwait came home at the weekend. All the repatriates must undergo inspection and quarantine.
DFA said it had helped 3,586 Filipino workers overseas out of 20,000 target beneficiaries.
It was also monitoring the condition of 535 Filipinos overseas who got infected by COVID-19. DFA said 347 of them were still being treated, 133 have recovered and 55 have died. — Charmaine A. Tadalan