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27k OFWs, including 8k crew members, remain in Metro Manila awaiting COVID-19 test results

About 27,000 overseas Filipino workers, including 8,000 crew members of cruise ships currently docked at Manila Bay, are still waiting for their results of COVID-19 swab test.

According to Chino Gaston’s 24 Oras report on Monday, the crew members are not allowed to disembark due to their pending test results. They have been stranded in Metro Manila since their arrival in late April.

While the Filipinos remained under quarantine in the ships, they have been provided with food and other necessities.

Jhun Habal, one of the Filipino seafarers, said he is eager to go home to see his family.

“Para kaming naghihintay sa atin sa Pilipinas eh, bukod sa mga bills na naghihintay. In fact manganganak na panganay ko pang apat na apo na. Tapos ‘yong family ko po tanong na rin ng tanong,” said Habal, who arrived in the country last April 23.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Red Cross assured that they are already processing the swab samples taken from the OFWs and the crew members.

“Nararamdaman po namin ‘yong gusto niyong mangyari na (makapiling) inyong mga mahal sa buhay, kami rin po nauunawaan namin ang inyong paghihirap,” PCG commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said.

More cruise ships with Filipino seafarers onboard are expected to arrive in the coming days, he added.  -- Ma. Angelica Garcia/BAP, GMA News