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PAL assists in repatriation flight from Japan

Aviation Updates Philippines – The national flag carrier Philippine Airlines, together with several government agencies, successfully repatriated almost 500 Filipino seafarers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored off in Yokohama, Japan. The number of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infected guests and personnel on-board the infected ship rose to almost 700 out of the 3,711.
DEPARTURE FROM TOKYO HANEDA. Philippine-bound repatriates were on-board two PAL aircraft on Tuesday as part of the government's efforts to protect the Filipinos from the COVID-19. Photo from Philippine Airlines.
On Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ), Magsaysay Shipping Lines, the local government of Tarlac, Philippine Airlines and other organizations attended to the prompt evacuation of the stranded Filipino nationals — precisely three weeks after the quarantine period started.

Philippine Airlines sent two separate flights to Tokyo Haneda to pickup the stuck seafarers.

A 368-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft (RP-C8771) departed with 312 passengers from Haneda at 6:50 pm local time bound for Clark International Airport in Pampanga. Flight PR-8423 arrived in Clark at 10:10 pm local time.

More than two hours later, the second flight, PR-8421, arrived in Clark at 12:17 am local time with 143 passengers on-board. The Airbus A321 flight (RP-C9906) departed from Haneda at 8:40 pm local time and flew to the Philippines for a four-hour-long journey.

Upon arrival in Clark, the repatriated Filipinos underwent standard medical checks and thermal scanning. The passengers were sent to the Athlete's Village in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac, for another 14-day quarantine period before finally being discharged.

Three weeks ago, Royal Air Philippines operated a mercy flight to the ground zero of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China to repatriate around 30 Filipinos who intended to return to the Philippines. The quarantined repatriates were released by the DOH just this week after finishing the 14-day monitoring period in New Clark City.

According to the February 27 update of the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 82,294 infections and 2,804 confirmed fatalities brought by the on-going COVID-19 outbreak globally. In the Philippines, there are 101 persons under investigation (PUI) for possible COVID-19 infections.

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