MORE than 300 Filipino workers have come home from Kuwait amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic that has sickened 1.2 million and killed about 65,000 people worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Sunday.

“Sunday morning’s flight is one of many mounted flights of Kuwait Airways commissioned to bring home hundreds of Overseas Filipino Workers from the Gulf State who have benefited from the ongoing amnesty program of the Kuwaiti government,” DFA said in a statement.

The program allowed OFWs there to avail themselves of flights to the Philippines without paying legal fines.

The Bureau of Quarantine enforced health measures upon disembarkation. 

There were 417 confirmed cases in Kuwait and no record of death as of April 4, according to the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido D. Dulay said 223 Filipino seafarers from cruise ships docked in the US arrived home on Saturday. 

“As usual, DFA’s repatriation team was on hand to assist and welcome them home, lockdown or not,” he said in a social media post.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Martin R. Meñez said 4,349 seamen from cruise ships have come home since the outbreak.

They included 881 crewmen from the US and 370 others from Italy who came home last week. 

DFA is working on the return of about 4,600 Filipinos in the next two weeks, according to a presidential palace report to Congress on March 30. — Charmaine A. Tadalan