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More Than 700 Cruise Ship Passengers from China Allowed to Roam Manila

More than 700 tourists from China roamed Manila.
IMAGE Philippine Coast Guard
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Two cruise ships from Hong Kong and mainland China were allowed to dock in Manila amid the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV around the world, according to a report by CNN.

According to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Bureau of Quarantine cleared the World Dream Cruise Ship, which arrived in Manila on Tuesday morning carrying 778 passengers from Hong Kong. The passengers were allowed to roam the streets of Manila. The cruise ship was scheduled to dock at Subic Bay on Tuesday night, but was canceled for unknown reasons.  

Another cruise ship from China, the MV Ligulao, docked in Manila on Monday and was also cleared by the Bureau of Quarantine, according to the PCG.

“Upon coordinating with the PCG port state control officers at Pier 15, they confirmed that both vessels were cleared and declared safe by the Bureau of Quarantine during mandatory inspections,” said Captain Armand Balilo, PCG spokesperson. It is unclear whether passengers from the Ligulao also roamed the streets of Manila.

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“Err on the side of caution.”

Olongapo mayor Rolen Paulino, Jr. appealed to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) not to accept cruise ships until the threat of coronavirus outbreak has been contained.

“Let us please err on the side of caution and put primacy in the health and safety of the residents and workers of Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the city and municipalities surrounding it,” said the mayor in a letter addressed to SBMA chair Wilma Eisma.

Currently, the seaports and airports in Subic are placed on heightened alert status because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Cruise lines have canceled trips.

Around the world, a number of cruise lines have already canceled trips to China for fear of spreading coronavirus. Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises have both announced sailing suspensions from Shanghai due to the outbreak, according to a report by World of Cruising.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the semi-closed environment on such ships and the presence of hundreds of people onboard make it easier for diseases to spread. Respiratory infections are the most frequently reported outbreaks on cruises.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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