Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (MMC) reels her vessel, Diamond Princess, among those quarantined by the Japanese Ministry of Health due to a coronavirus outbreak. Public health authorities have disembarked 61 people to local hospitals for medical care.
One Filipino crew member is included in the 61 persons.
Diamond Princess has implemented measures to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on board including limited movement inside the vessel, minimum interaction between people, new safety procedures, provision of protective equipment as well as unlimited Internet access to allow guests and crew to communicate with their family and loved ones.
Aside from Emergency Response Teams, MMC has been working in close contact with the Departments of Health, Labor, POEA, OWWA, and the Philippine Embassy in Japan to ensure that Filipino seafarers are protected from harm.
Founded in 1965, Princess Cruises sails on approximately 150 different itineraries traveling to 350 intriguing ports across the globe. The responses of MMC on the crisis earned positive endorsement from passengers, crew and their families.
A Filipino seafarer has tested positive for the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV from 537 other Filipinos quarantined onboard a cruise ship in Japan. He is a crew member of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Other nationalities who were also confirmed positive were an American, two Australians, three Japanese and three Chinese from Hong Kong.
The cruise ship has been docked in Japan's Yokohama Bay to isolate and monitor 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members on board. Japanese authorities locked down the vessel after a former passenger, an 80-year-old man from Hong Kong who disembarked earlier, was confirmed to have the coronavirus.
Two ships from China docked at Pier 15 of the Port of Manila were declared "clear and safe" from the novel coronavirus by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), says the Coast Guard (PCG).
The World Dream cruise ship arrived in Manila from Hong Kong with 778 passengers cleared and "authorized to travel" by the BOQ.
They were scheduled to proceed to Subic Bay but Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr and Subic Mayor Jonathan John Khonghun both asked the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to stop admitting cruise ships because of the threat of the novel coronavirus.
PCG spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo said the World Dream cancelled the Subic leg and sailed back to Hong Kong.
The cargo ship MV Ligulao, arrived in Manila from Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China, and the BOQ declared the ship's 20 crew members free of the novel coronavirus. But, they were not allowed to disembark because they had no shore passes.
Taiwan's health authority banned all international cruise ships from docking at the island amid increasing threat of the coronavirus outbreak. Ten more people were tested positive for the virus on a quarantined cruise liner in Japan.
Cruise operators are cancelling voyages to and from China as the coronavirus outbreak spreads and governments around the world urge the public not to travel to infected areas.
Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of leisure giant Carnival Corp., said it cancelled four cruises and the
Costa Serena, Costa Atlantica, Costa Venezia and Costa neoRomantica remain docked at Chinese ports.
At the Port of Shenzhen, north of Hong Kong, medical teams boarded the Costa Venezia after her six-day cruise to Vietnam. Of the 4,973 passengers and 1,249 crew checked, four were found to have high temperature and around 150 passengers who are from or visited Wuhan were isolated for further screening.
Royal Caribbean, the world’s biggest cruise operator, cancelled a four-day cruise its China-based Spectrum of the Seas liner from Shanghai to Okinawa in Japan.
Switzerland-based MSC Cruises SA said it cancelled a cruise out of Shanghai to Nagasaki in Japan after “urgent guidelines” from the Chinese government and that its MSC Splendida liner will remain at port.
“The cruise terminals in Shanghai are deserted. Nobody is travelling,” said Chichen Chen, a tug operator in Shanghai. “It’s mass hysteria and fear now and nobody is saying when it will be over.”
Around 2.4 million Chinese citizens took cruises in 2018, the second-largest passenger volume by nationality behind the U.S. (13 million) per Cruise Lines International Association, the industry trade body.
Cruise travel is becoming increasingly popular in metropolitan cities like Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenzhen. But the Chinese government ordered travel agencies to stop group tours.
Freight shipping services like containers, dry bulk and tankers continue to operate in China. Crews are not allowed to disembark, port officials must wear protective gear when boarding.
It may be recalled that early December, Dr. Li Wen Liang announced his discovery of the virus. Sadly, he was promptly arrested by Chinese authorities for whistleblowing and shamed for “spreading rumors.”
As the world now shakes on his discovery, he died unheralded of the virus 2.58 AM, 07 February. He left an infected widow eight-month pregnant of their second child.
From the sharing of Judge Arthur Melicor of the same Christian Congregation as that of the heroic doctor, he left a simple poem inspired by Timothy 4:7-8 of the Bible: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the truth.”