500 Filipinos onboard cruise ship held off in US over Covid-19

500 Filipinos onboard cruise ship held off in US over Covid-19

MANILA – Over 500 Filipino crewmembers onboard the MV Grand Princess cruise ship were held off the coast of California in the United States for the testing of some passengers for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Friday.

“We confirm that there are Filipino crew members onboard the MV Grand Princess, and in similar number as the Diamond Princess of around 530-540 Filipino crew out of 1,111 total crew. We do not have confirmations about Filipino passengers yet,” DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Menez told reporters.

As of writing, Menez said there are passengers and crew of unidentified nationalities who are exhibiting symptoms and being tested.

According to reports, the MV Grand Princess previously carried the first person who died from Covid-19 in California and dozens of the passengers who were with the man are still on the ship.

Based on the latest update from Princess cruises dated March 4, there are fewer than 100 guests and crew identified for testing, including all in-transit guests and those who have experienced influenza-like illness symptoms on the voyage.

This developed weeks after the large-scale Covid-19 cases onboard the MV Diamond Princess in Japan, where hundreds of crewmembers and passengers contracted the disease.  Joyce Ann L. Rocamora /PNA – northboundasia.com