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111 stranded Filipino seafarers from China repatriated — DFA

111 stranded Filipino seafarers from China repatriated — DFA
July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 111 stranded Filipino seafarers and the remains of two Filipino seamen were brought home by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday.

According to the DFA, the seafarers came from nine different Chinese fishing vessels, all of which were stranded at sea for the past several months as countries around the world including China—the origin of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—closed their respective borders to avoid the spread of the respiratory disease.

Initially, 101 stranded seafarers were regrouped in Fujian, China aboard the carrier vessel Star Mariner which left the southeastern Chinese province on July 11.

On its way to the Philippines, the Star Mariner fetched 10 more stranded Filipino seafarers including the two remains of Filipino seamen from a stranded ship in the Indian Ocean.

Upon the ship’s arrival in Manila, the repatriates underwent RT-PCR testing and will be quarantined while awaiting the results.

The DFA has vowed to continuously monitor the condition of and extend assistance to the remaining Filipino seafarers in Fujian, China, and will continue its efforts to negotiate with local authorities in China for their immediate repatriation to the Philippines.

The DFA earlier said it is planning to repatriate over 50,000 overseas Filipinos by the end of July and cut the number of stranded Filipinos abroad to 117,049. Jim Mendoza, Trainee