MORE than a thousand more Filipinos from the US, Dubai, Indonesia and Barbados have come home amid a COVID-19 pandemic that has sickened 1.8 million and killed more than 114,000 people worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

About 440 seafarers from Miami arrived on its 14th day of repatriation, the agency said. The batch included the 365 crewmen of the MS Norwegian Epic and 75 from the MS Marina.

DFA said 382 seafarers from the MS Norwegian Spirit from Barbados also arrived on Monday.

“The seafarers of MS Norwegian Epic and MS Marina will undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine while those of MS Norwegian Spirit will undergo home quarantine,” it said in a statement.

This is based on the assessment of the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine.

Their return was facilitated by the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, in coordination with local manning agency CF Sharp as well as the Norwegian Cruise Lines and Oceania Cruises, it said.

DFA said the Norwegian Cruise Lines shouldered the repatriation of more than 3,670 of its Filipino crewmen.

The latest arrivals followed the repatriation of 208 crewmen of Nautica, Norwegian Jade and Seven Seas Voyager from Dubai and 33 Filipino workers from Indonesia on Sunday evening.

This brings the total number of repatriates to 12,966 out of 20,000 target beneficiaries, DFA said.

It said 654 Filipinos overseas have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, 382 of whom were still being treated. It said that 188 Filipino patients overseas have recovered, while 84 died. — Charmaine A. Tadalan