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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Ruby Princess docks in Manila, Filipino crewmen to be tested for COVID-19

Virus-hit Ruby Princess is being investigated in Australia for sparking coronavirus infections that have been linked to 21 deaths.

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The Ruby Princess ship carrying 214 Filipino crew members anchored in Manila Bay on Thursday. This is after a 14 day journey from Port Kembla in New South Wales.

According to Associated Press (AP), at least 16 other cruise ships are docked in Manila while more than 5,000 Filipino crew members wait to be tested for COVID-19 before disembarking.

The ship is currently being investigated in Australia for sparking coronavirus infections and has been linked to 21 deaths in Australia and two in the United States. The ABC reports that the ship is liked to almost 700 cases, which is equivalent at least 10% of cases of coronavirus in Australia.

The Australian investigation is trying to determine why 2,700 passengers and crew were allowed to disembark in Sydney on March 19 even before the test results of sick passengers came out.

An initial batch of 379 Filipino crew left the ship last month and was taken to Sydney to catch a Cebu Pacific flight to Manila. The crew members are still on quarantine as of 7 May. The remaining 214 Filipinos stayed on board to operate the vessel.

Depending on the test results, the 214 Filipino crew members onboard Ruby Princess and waiting to disembark will have to be quarantined or, if they tested positive of COVID-19, to undergo treatment in at Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa, as stated by Coast guard spokesperson Armand Balilo.

View from Ruby Princess Webcam:

A live picture from the bridge of the Ruby Princess

“The protocols are strict. Our teams get onboard, undertake swab tests then the crewmen wait for three days,” Balilo said in an interview with the AP.

“If they test positive, we bring them to a hospital if they’re OK, we release but they should still go into some days of isolation,” Balilo added.

The results of the tests will take three days.

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