MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that 16 more Filipinos onboard Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday, February 16. This brings the total number of infected Filipinos onboard to 27, all of whom are crew members. (READ: Coronavirus toll reaches 1,765 – gov't)
The Philippine embassy in Tokyo said it is in close coordination with the relevant Philippine and Japanese government agencies and representatives of the World Health Organization and Princess Cruises to ensure the wellbeing of the 538 Filipinos onboard and to facilitate their return to the Philippines.
The Japanese health ministry gave assurances that all crew and passengers will be tested beginning Monday, February 17, so that test results will be available by the time the ship’s quarantine period ends. The vessel has been in quarantine since February 5 at the port of Yokohama near Tokyo, and Japan's efforts to control the viral infections on board have prompted international concern.