Locsin wants seafarers on COVID-free ships sent home


Posted at Apr 25 2020 04:35 PM

MANILA—Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. wants seafarers aboard COVID-free cruise ships to be sent home, saying their stay at sea should equate to compliance with the 14-day quarantine.

In a series of tweets, Locsin pointed out it was already agreed upon by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) but a “distortion” was made resulting in confusion.

“I will bring up the distorted and truncated statement of the resolution adopted by the IATF unanimously regarding the Green Lane and the adoption of the sea voyage as compliance with the 14-day quarantine. We have vessels rotting in Manila Bay because of that distortion,” Locsin said.

“There are 8 COVID-19 free cruise ships in Manila bay with Filipino crews. They were quarantined in the sea voyage. We, at IATF, unanimously adopted the 3-point resolution addressing this situation — although a halfwit reduced it to one paragraph which explains why the BI is confused”

Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez of the DFA Office of Strategic Communication and Research explained in a text message: “Apparently, it was the understanding at IATF that if the crew had undergone 14-days at sea on their way back and no cases of COVID ever reported onboard, then they should be allowed off. There may have been confusion in the implementation, but they should sort it out.”

None of the Filipino crew have disembarked because all of them are still undergoing the 2-week quarantine. Meñez said the Department of Transportation and Bureau of Quarantine are in the best position to provide details.