A TOTAL of 881 Filipino seamen came home from the US on Wednesday amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic that has infected about 862,000 and killed at least 42,510 people worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Of the total, 445 were crewmen from the Norwegian Cruises Dawn and Encore, while the remaining 436 were from the M/V Magica and M/V Favolosa, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The repatriated seafarers shall undergo a mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine monitored by the Bureau of Quarantine,” DFA said.
The virus has killed more than 4,000 people in the US, surpassing China.
DFA is working on the return of at least 4,600 Filipinos in the next two weeks, according to a presidential palace report to Congress on March 30.
Earlier 370 crewmen on three cruise ships docked in Italy, where more than 12,000 people have died, arrived at the weekend.
DFA said it was also helping to send home foreign tourists stranded in the Philippines.
“Last German flight out planned for this weekend to take last tourists stranded in Palawan, Siargao, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Bohol, Caticlan, Surigao, Tacloban, Mindanao and Bacolod to Cebu and Manila,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. said in a social media post. — Charmaine A. Tadalan