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Foreign cruise ships with Filipino crew now allowed to dock in Manila ports

/ 11:00 AM April 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has now allowed foreign cruise ships with Filipino crew members to dock in Manila ports and to be used as quarantine facilities for their crew members.

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In a virtual press briefing Thursday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the policy was approved during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) handling the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

According to Nograles, spokesman of the IATF, the foreign crew on the cruise ships will be allowed to disembark in Manila “for the sole purpose of taking outbound flights to their final destination abroad” after finishing the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon disembarkation.

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The guidelines of newly-adopted measures will be issued by the member agencies of the Sub-Task Group for the Repatriation of Overseas Filipino Workers.

The Palace official likewise reported that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has started using its two ships as quarantine facilities by accommodating 90 repatriated Filipino seafarers from South Korea, Indonesia, and Qatar last Tuesday

After being screened, the seafarers were provided with individual room accommodations where they will complete their 14-day quarantine period.

“‘Yung iba na may nauna nang hotel bookings na inayos ng OWWA ay mananatili na sa nasabing mga hotel para sa kanilang 14-day quarantine, matapos magsagawa ng medical profiling ang PCG medical teams,” Nograles noted.

At least 13,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were displaced by the impact of COVID-19.

On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the number of Filipino repatriates breached the 13,000-mark when the chartered flight carrying 668 seafarers arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

More seafarers are expected to return home as the DFA continues with its effort to extend assistance to OFWs in countries affected by the pandemic.

The latest data from the DFA showed that there are 736 Filipinos abroad who have contracted the coronavirus disease in 41 countries and territories. Of this number, 426 are undergoing treatment, 222 have recovered while 88 have died.

/MUF

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, cruise ships, DFA, IATF, Karlo Nograles, Manila, Manila ports, ofws, pandemic, Philippines, seafarers
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