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444 Pinoys from virus-hit Grand Princess land in Pampanga

The 444 Filipinos from the coronavirus-hit MV Grand Princess, which had been held off the California coast, arrived at Pampanga's Clark Airbase early Monday morning, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter.



The Filipinos — 438 crew members and six passengers — were repatriated after obtaining health clearances, and permits for disembarkation as well as land transfer to their chartered flight.

"The MV Grand Princess repatriates boarded the plane back to the Philippines which departed San Francisco around 9pm on March 14 (Pacific Time). The repatriates were all screened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services prior to boarding," the DFA said in an earlier statement.

Upon arrival, the group boarded chartered buses and were taken to the Athletes' Village in New Clark City where they would be quarantined for 14 days.

Meanwhile, the 13 Filipinos from the cruise ship who were declared COVID-19 positive were put in health facilities in the US.

A group of 91 Filipino crewmen also volunteered to remain onboard the Grand Princess to maintain the vessel.

Operated by Princess Cruises, the Grand Princess was held off in Oakland after some passengers tested positive for the coronavirus , with a 71-year-old man dying and becoming the first fatality in California. — DVM, GMA News