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Filipino seafarer from infected ship recovers from COVID-19

Filipino seafarer from infected ship recovers from COVID-19
Gaea Katreena Cabico - February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino seafarer who had contracted the coronavirus disease aboard a cruise ship docked off Japan has recovered, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

The crew member of cruise ship Diamond Princess “has been successfully treated and is scheduled to be discharged today.”

The seafarer, who was admitted to a hospital on February 5, was the first known case of a Filipino with COVID-19.

DFA said 40 other Filipinos who tested positive for the coronavirus disease remain in medical facilities in and around Tokyo.

“[The Philippine] Embassy is in touch with those who have been admitted to the hospitals in order to ensure their well-being and to provide them any assistance they need,” DFA said.

Passengers who tested negative for the illness began disembarking from the coronavirus-wracked vessel after the Japanese government-imposed quarantine period came to an end Wednesday.

More than 500 Filipinos, mostly crew members, are on the ship, where there are at least 542 confirmed cases—the biggest cluster outside mainland China.

The Philippine government is finalizing the details, logistics and schedule of the repatriation of Filipino crew members and passengers onboard the cruise ship.

“All Filipino crew and passengers who are cleared for disembarkation from the vessel will be assisted by the Embassy and Princess Cruises, and will be repatriated back to the Philippines at the soonest time. Filipinos who in hospital for treatment will be repatriated as soon as the hospitals grant them medical clearance,” DFA said.

The virus that emerged in central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year has killed over 2,000.

More than 74,000 individuals in China were diagnosed positive for the disease. Hundreds more cases were reported in nearly 30 countries.