By Betheena Unite
A Filipino sailor from the Grand Princess cruise ship has succumbed to COVID-19, the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco bared Saturday.
“The Consulate has expressed its sympathies and condolences for the bereaved family in the Philippines and will continue to assist with relevant formalities,” the Philippine Consulate General said in a statement.
Remaining Filipino crew members onboard the ship have reached the end of their quarantine period Saturday. The Philippine Consulate said, however, that “no definitive repatriation plans have been finalized as of the present.”
While they continue to coordinate with California State agencies and the Grand Princess cruise ship management on the repatriation of Filipino crew members, plans have yet to be finalized as “many countries have closed their borders and due to the pervasive air travel restrictions worldwide “whether commercial or charter.”
The Philippine Consulate furthered that repatriation of crew on all of its ships is being worked out on a holistic basis. In the meantime, “all crew fleet-wide will remain onboard in the care of Princess until repatriation can be successfully executed.”
Based on updates received by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) from the Grand Princess management, the latter is hoping that the “No Sail order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its enforcement by the United States Coast Guard will be rescinded concurrently.”
If the order is rescinded, the cruise ship will perform routine marine operations in the next few days, and early next week.
“It will go alongside SFO to take on provisions and discharge luggage that did not make the Filipino charter flight on March 14,” the Philippine Consulate General said as it continues to coordinate with and engage the appropriate authorities and Carnival Corp. for the eventual repatriation of Filipino crew.
In the meantime, some crew members, based on their position, will need to remain onboard in order to safely operate the ships.
It was also indicated in the update that “upon completion of the quarantine, the crew on Grand Princess are deemed fit to travel/return to work.”
Crew members are expected to be issued by the Grand Princess with a form of documentation stating that they have completed the CDC- approved quarantine plan for the ship’s crew.