Coronavirus Covid-19: Philippines to evacuate Diamond Princess citizens

25 February 2020 (Last Updated February 26th, 2020 06:16)

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) has said that the country will repatriate approximately 400 citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Coronavirus Covid-19: Philippines to evacuate Diamond Princess citizens
Diamond Princess is owned and operated by Carnival Corporation’s Princess Cruises. Credit: Barrylb.

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The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) has said that the country will repatriate approximately 400 citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been quarantined in Japan since 5 February. Passengers, who tested negative for coronavirus (Covid-19), started disembarking the cruise ship on 19 February.

The country will use two flights to evacuate the citizens on board. The ship carried 538 Filipinos, which includes 59 that tested positive for Covid-19.

The flights have departed from Manila Airport and will land at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Officials from Department of Foreign Affairs and the medical team arrived at Yokohama port for the disembarkation of the nationals.

Citizens who tested negative for the coronavirus and show no symptoms of the infection will be allowed to board the flight.

Passengers will be monitored throughout the duration of the flight and whoever shows any symptoms will be isolated in the flight.

After arriving at Clark International Airport, passengers will be tested again and those who show symptoms will be sent to the hospital for quarantine and isolation.

Other asymptomatic passengers will be sent to a quarantine facility at New Clark City in Tarlac.

The US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and the UK have evacuated their citizens from the cruise ship. India has also started preparations for the evacuation process.

The epidemic has so far killed approximately 2,700 and infected more than 80,000 people around the world. The Philippines has reported three cases with one death.