370 Filipino cruise ship workers from Italy back in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   March 30, 2020   •   2033

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 370 Filipinos from three cruise ships docked in Italy have arrived in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement on Sunday, the DFA said the Filipino crew members returned home on early evening of Saturday, March 28 via a chartered flight organized by the government.

The repatriated group was composed of 248 Filipinos from MV Costa Luminosa from Milan, and 122 from MV Grandiosa and MV Opera docked in Rome in Italy, the nation mostly hit by novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Europe.

“All the 370 Filipinos underwent medical check-up and were found to be asymptomatic before they boarded the chartered airline that brought them to Manila,” the DFA said.

“They will also undergo a mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine supervised by the Bureau of Quarantine,” it added.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. earlier said that around 4,000 Filipino crew members are expected to be repatriated in the following weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Worldwide, more than 638,000 people have been infected with coronavirus from over 200 countries with 30,105 confirmed deaths, according to the March 30 report of the World Health Organization.

19 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths among overseas Filipinos — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   January 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday (January 20) reported 19 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection among overseas Filipinos.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases among Filipinos abroad to 13,642.

The new cases along with three new fatalities were recorded in the Americas, Europe, and Middle East and Africa. 

The overall number of deaths among Filipino nationals overseas is now at 944.

Meanwhile, 63 Filipinos recovered from the disease bringing the total number of recoveries to 8,745.

“The DFA, together with its Foreign Service Posts, remains fully committed to monitoring and assisting our nationals abroad amid the pandemic,” the agency said in its advisory.

QC gov’t bans public gatherings during fiestas, other community events

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines Public gatherings and other community celebrations will be prohibited in Quezon City, the local government announced.

In a memorandum dated Jan. 12, Mayor Joy Belmonte said the move aims to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in anticipation of upcoming fiestas, religious events, and cultural festivals traditionally held in many barangays in the city this month.

“Unless regulated, these celebrations could lead to mass gatherings and encourage the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Belmonte said.

“Isakripisyo muna natin ang mga nakaugalian tuwing may ganitong pagdiriwang para na rin sa ating kaligtasan,” she added.

In her order, Belmonte prohibited the conduct of processions, parades, Santacruzan and other crowd-drawing activities and events like fairs, perya, variety shows, fireworks displays, ati-atihan or other public performances.

Public games and contests, such as pageants, singing or band contests, bingo, pabitin, paluan ng palayok, agawan, or tug of war are also banned.

Public buffets and boodle fights, and public drinking, including drinking outdoors or on sidewalks, and group contact sports such as basketball are also not allowed.

“Persons may only drink at home or inside restaurants or establishments, subject to health protocols,” Belmonte said.

Also banned are group videoke or other celebratory gatherings that violate social distancing, noise pollution or other noise nuisances due to excessive merrymaking, comingling of multiple households through large parties or traditional “open door” fiesta celebrations; and any other non-essential or non-work gatherings.

On the other hand, modest celebrations conducted within the home, among immediate family or close acquaintances are allowed, subject to social distancing and other applicable health protocols.

Also, masses, other religious solemnities, religious or traditional rituals for the purpose of blessing a building or establishment may continue, subject to strict health protocols such the wearing of face mask, face shields and social distancing.

Celebrations conducted primarily for an online audience, with very limited physical attendance are also allowed.

As for the coming celebration of Chinese New Year, Belmonte said the conduct of Dragon Dance or Lion Dance activities shall be allowed provided that the same shall be held in a designated area only, like the stage of a mall, with the audience seated and socially distanced, with mask and face shield.

Violators may be penalized under Republic Act No. 11332 or the Notifiable Diseases Act, various city ordinances and other pertinent laws, the city government said.

The city’s law and order cluster, regulatory departments, barangays, and the Quezon City Police District are ordered to strictly enforce the memorandum, it added.

4 new cases, 1 death from COVID-19 reported among Filipinos abroad — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday (January 11) reported four Filipinos from abroad who tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This brings the total number of Filipinos abroad currently positive for COVID-19 to 13,022.

Meanwhile, one succumbed to the disease, the latest addition to the overall tally of COVID-19 deaths among overseas Filipinos which is now at 935.

Nevertheless, one recovery has been reported which means the number of Filipinos abroad who triumphed their battle against the disease is now at 8,461.

The additional cases were recorded among Filipinos in the Middle East and Africa. 

To date, the total number of countries and territories with confirmed cases among Filipinos remains at 84.

The DFA vows to work closely with its Foreign Service Posts to partner with host governments to ensure the safety and well-being of Filipino nationals abroad amidst the pandemic.



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