Agency for Filipino crew in virus-hit Japan cruise ship assures seafarers' safety

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2020 08:41 PM

The cruise ship Diamond Princess, where at least 61 people tested positive for the new coronavirus, is seen at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan February 7, 2020. Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters

MANILA - The agency for Filipino crew members onboard a cruise ship off Japan assured the seafarers' families that they will be protected, amid their quarantine due to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that hit the vessel early this week.

Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, the management handling the Filipino crew onboard Diamond Princess, a ship of Princess Cruises, said they are in contact with authorities to prevent the seafarers from getting the virus.

"Magsaysay has been working in close contact with the Department of Health, the Department of Labor, the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration), OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration), and the Philippine Embassy in Japan to ensure that all our Filipino seafarers working onboard the ship are protected from harm," the agency said in a statement Friday.

Last Tuesday, a Filipino crew member was confirmed to be among the first 10 who have tested positive for 2019-nCoV while their ship was docked in Yokohoma.

The seafarer was the first known case of a Filipino infected with 2019-nCoV.

Earlier Friday, the rise of the ship's passengers with the virus rose to at least 61 people, the Japanese government said Friday, as thousands of passengers and crew continued to face a two-week quarantine.

Magsaysay said they have "kept close contact and communication with the families of [the Filipino] crew to keep them updated on their loved ones."

"The safety and well-being of our crew onboard the Diamond Princess are the utmost priority of both Princess and Magsaysay."