Philippines

Locsin: 530 Filipino crew of virus-hit ships need approval of DOH to have hotels

By April 3, 2020 No Comments
Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (Voltaire F Domingo/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — More than 500 arriving crew members from COVID-19-hit cruise ships will not be accommodated in hotels and motels without the approval of the Department of Health (DOH), Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. said Saturday.

Locsin said 530 Filipinos from cruise ships Costa Favolosa and Costa Magica are set to arrive on Sunday but the DOH advised that rooms must have individual isolation wards with room service.

“530 from Costa Fabulosa & Costa Magica arrive tomorrow and there are no hotels or motels to book them in. While DOT has a list of accommodations the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration of Department of Labor and Employment must approve the items in the list,” the country’s top diplomat said in a tweet.

“However, OWWA says it cannot approve the DOT list unless the DOH first approves the list. The DOH says that the rooms must qualify as individual isolation wards with room service so there is no mingling just in case some are COVID,” Locsin added.

Locsin also said that a certain undersecretary of DOH did not allow hundreds of incoming crew members to be tested.

“It was suggested that DOH test the incoming crews but……an undersecretary of DOH said NO. No? Yes, no. So no texting of incoming Filipino crews. And yet they are not to be given accommodations on the off chance they are COVID,” he said.

DOH and foreign affairs department previously repatriated crew members and passengers from virus-hit cruise ship M/V Diamond Princess and M/V Grand Princess.

Four hundred forty-four Filipinos arrived in Clark, Pampanga via chartered flight on March 16 while 442 Filipino repatriates from the Diamond Princess cruise ship finished their 14-day quarantine on March 11.

Edited by JPV

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TAGS: COVID-19, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health, Nation, Teddy Locsin Jr.
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