22 more Pinoys infected with COVID-19 aboard Diamond Princess recover, await repatriation

An additional 22 Filipinos who were infected on the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship have recovered and are awaiting repatriation, an official from the country’s Department of Health (DOH) confirmed this afternoon.

“So now, out of the 80, 32 have recovered. Of those 32, we have sent home 10,” DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told the media in today’s briefing.

She added that the 10 Filipinos who recovered and arrived home on Friday are undergoing “strict monitoring,” but will no longer be quarantined.

“The Filipinos who [initially] tested positive [on the cruise ship] tested negative twice within 48 hours before they were discharged from the hospital [in Japan]. Plus they no longer have symptoms, so when they return [to the Philippines], we are just going to do strict monitoring for them,” Vergeire said.

The health official said the repatriation is being coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Read: 3 more quarantined Filipinos show flu-like symptoms, 10 test negative for COVID-19

Vergeire added that while no local COVID-19 transmissions have been reported, the Health Department continues to urge the public to avoid events that attract big crowds to minimize the chance of getting infected.

Over this payday weekend, mall sale events were cancelled on the advice of the Health Department.

“We just encourage. We cannot mandate at this point because we still do not have local transmissions,” Vergeire said.

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