MORE than 1,300 Filipino workers overseas have come home amid a coronavirus pandemic that has sickened 2.9 million and killed more than 203,000 people worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

A total of 38 Filipino missionaries stranded in Ghana and Sierra Leone arrived in Manila late Saturday evening, DFA said in a social media post on Sunday.

The agency worked with honorary consuls and the Filipino communities in both countries because the Philippines does not have an embassy or consulate there, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido D. Dulay said.

This brings the total number of repatriates to more than 21,000 since the DFA started bringing home Filipinos on Feb. 25.

This followed 610 seafarers of MV Queen Mary 2 in the United Kingdom, 337 crewmen of Costa Cruises in Italy and 13 from MSC Magnifica in Spain, who arrived in separate batches at the weekend.

The repatriation was facilitated by the Philippine embassies in London, Milan and Madrid as well as local manning agencies Singa Ship Management Philippines, Inc., Career Philippines Ship Management Inc., Magsaysay Maritime Corp. and Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.

All the Filipinos underwent medical checkup upon arrival and will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine, DFA said.

It said 336 other Filipino workers from Maldives came home on Saturday evening and were taken to the World Trade Center quarantine facility.

The DFA noted that as of April 25, 1,337 Filipinos overseas have been infected with the coronavirus disease 2019. A total of 825 were being treated, 328 have recovered, while 184 have died, it said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan