By Roy Mabasa
The total number of Filipinos on board the cruise ship MV Diamond Princess who have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now 11, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
In a statement, the DFA said these Filipinos are now confined in various hospitals in and around the Tokyo area. However, no Filipinos are among the new group of 44 persons who tested positive for the virus on Thursday (Feb. 13).
Quoting reports from the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, the DFA added that the Filipinos currently in hospitals are “responding well to treatment.”
In coordination with the Japanese government, the Philippine Embassy is said to be sending care packages containing toiletries and non-medical supplies to Filipinos who are in the hospital as well as to those who remain on board the Diamond Princess.
This afternoon, a team from the Embassy also visited the hospitals to speak with the doctors and social workers assigned to the Filipino patients in order to ensure their well-being.
The DFA statement came amid fears that crewmembers of Diamond Princess are at greater risk of being exposed to COVID-19 while they continue to work and render services to guests and passengers of the ship.
There are more than 500 Filipino crewmembers on board the ship, or almost half of its total workforce.