By Roy Mabasa
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, California is continuously working with United States authorities as well as with its home office in Manila on the impending repatriation of 538 Filipino crewmembers and passengers onboard M/V Grand Princess cruise ship currently docked at the Port of Oakland due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread.
In a statement, Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr. said a few Filipinos on the cruise ship updated the Consulate on their well being, saying they are “generally well and being taken care of onboard.”
There are 529 Filipino crewmembers and nine passengers onboard the Bahamas-flagged cruise ship which was originally on its voyage to Hawaii when some of its crew and passengers manifested “flu-like” symptoms.
On Monday, Bensurto visited the Oakland port, some 10 miles from the city center of San Francisco, when the cruise ship docked after spending several days off the coast of the Golden State.
“They continue to work on a shifting basis and quite a few expressed their intention to be repatriated,” Bensurto said.
At the moment, the Consul General said the Consulate has been seeking confirmation from the US authorities if there are any Filipinos who tested positive of the COVID-19.
State officials have earlier announced that those who require immediate medical attention will be brought to medical facilities.