DOH urged to deny entry into Subic of cruise ship with Chinese tourists
OLONGAPO CITY –– Local officials here have urged the Department of Health (DOH) to stop the port call at Subic Bay of a cruise ship carrying close to 1,000 Chinese tourists amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China.
M/V Dream World, which is docked at Manila Bay, is scheduled to arrive at Subic Bay on Wednesday.
Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr. said the port call of cruise ships must be temporarily stopped “until the threat [of coronavirus] has been controlled.”
Paulino said various cities worldwide have already implemented lock-downs in response to the disease.
Wilma Eisma, chair of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, said she had asked DOH officials to reverse its earlier decision to allow the cruise ship to dock at Subic Bay.
“The decision is not mine to make. I have been asking guidance from the Office of the President and the Secretary of Health since (Monday),” Eisma said.
Eisma said DOH officials have assured her that the passengers of the cruise ship were quarantined upon entry in their last port of call in Hong Kong.
“Passengers and crew members are again processed before they go up the ship later and when they go down in Subic tomorrow,” she said.
The scheduled arrival of the ship was met with criticisms from residents who have been calling concerned authorities to deny M/V Dream World entry to Subic Bay.
“Many countries are alarmed about this virus. Some countries banned and canceled the flights coming from the place of the virus. Then the Philippines are welcoming them with open arms? I hope those who made this decision to allow these tourists would be the ones to welcome them. This is a very alarming matter, we don’t want to get infected,” one resident said.