MANILA — The Philippine government is working closely with the United States and Princess Cruises on the repatriation of Filipinos aboard the MV Grand Princess which carried more than a dozen who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We are working very closely with appropriate US agencies and the State of California as well as the operator of Grand Princess for the immediate repatriation of both Filipino crew members and passengers,” Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Henry Bensurto Jr. said.
The diplomat said there are 529 Filipino crew and nine Filipino passengers on the ship that has reportedly started disembarking guests in the Port of Oakland on Tuesday morning.
Citing an announcement from the California Governor Gavin Newsom, Bensurto said all the crew members would stay in the ship where they will be tested and quarantined.
At present, the Consulate General in San Francisco is still awaiting confirmation about the six Filipino crew said to be among those who tested positive for the Covid-19.
“Based on the announcement of the US Task Force on Corona Virus, 21 persons from Grand Princess tested positive. Nineteen are crew members, while two are guests. We are still confirming if there are Filipinos in this number,” Bensurto said.
He noted that those who were diagnosed with the virus and needed medical attention would be brought to medical facilities for treatment.
According to reports, the MV Grand Princess previously carried the first person who died from Covid-19 in California. (PNA)