ABOUT 200 Filipino sailors from Germany came home on Friday amid a novel coronavirus pandemic that has sickened 2.2 million and killed more than 147,000 people worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the agency said 66 crewmen of MV Amera, 130 from Albatros, three from River and a crew member of MV Amadea had been repatriated.

Their return was facilitated by the Philippine Embassy in Berlin and local manning agencies Five Star Marine Service Corp. and BSM Crew Service Centre Philippines, Inc., DFA said.

The Filipinos were subjected to medical check-ups supervised by the Bureau of Quarantine, and will undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The COVID-19 virus has sickened more than 138,000 people and killed more than 4,000 people in Germany, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

The Philippines earlier said it would allow foreign cruise ships carrying Filipino crewmen to dock at ports in Manila and be used as quarantine sites. — Charmaine A. Tadalan