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500 Pinoys onboard Diamond Princess repatriated Sunday

MV Diamond Princess

MV Diamond Princess

The Department of Health yesterday announced that Filipinos onboard the M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan will be repatriated on Sunday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that some 500 Filipinos are set to return to the country on Sunday.

“The exact time is being determined by the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) as they are coordinating the repatriation with their counterpart in Japan and with the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Labor,” Duque told reporters.

“We will have to await the exact time that they will be flown out and their arrival in Clark Airbase Haribon Hangar. I was told that there will be two planes that will bring in our compatriots but they are not arriving at the same time, I think there will be some two or three hours difference between the two arrivals,” he added.

Duque said that repatriation was originally scheduled on Feb.  25 but was moved to an earlier date.

“The Japanese government has already decided that they will close down the ship. We are getting this information from (DFA) Usec. (Brigido) Dulay. But we really have to bring them out as soon as possible,” he said.

The Athletes’ Village in New Clark City (NCC) in Capas, Tarlac will serve as the quarantine site of the returning Filipinos, where they will be monitored for 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19. (Analou de Vera)