Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess arrived unexpectedly in Manila Bay joining the large cluster of cruise ships as the Philippine Government worked to speed the process of repatriation for returning overseas workers.
The Diamond Princess departed Japan on May 16 more than three months after the cruise ship arrived at the Port of Yokohama during what became a highly publicized early outbreak of COVID-19. At the time of her departure, Princess Cruises reported that she would sail to Port Dickson, Malaysia to finalize crew repatriation efforts and would remain there until cruise operations resumed, which is currently scheduled for October 2020.
Anchored in Manila Bay, the Diamond Princess joins more than 20 other cruise ships that are also in the port working to complete crew reparations after a mandatory 14-day quarantine. This includes ships from Costa Cruises, Holland American Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International, among others. Another five cruise ships are in the waters just outside Manila Bay also completing the quarantine for their crews while additional ships from Carnival Cruise Line and others are also reported en route to the region.
Coming under increasing pressure from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, and with complaints rising from the returning workers, the government is also working to expedite the processing assisting people cleared from quarantine to reach their homes. Currently, it is estimated that there are approximately 24,000 workers still aboard cruise ships or in hotels after returning on overseas flights. In total, nearly 34,000 workers have returned from the cruise ships and jobs in other countries with the Department of Foreign Affairs reporting that over 29,000 people have completed their mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The delays are resulting from both the release of test results as well as the process needed to obtain certificates from the Bureau of Quarantine. President Duterte ordered the government agencies to accelerate efforts to send these workers home making the process easier to obtain certificates and transportation once they clear quarantine.
In addition to the online publication of lists of people cleared from quarantine, several other signs of progress have appeared. Recently, Royal Caribbean International’s cruise ship the Voyager of the Seas and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor sailed from Manila reportedly heading to the Singapore area.
The challenge of processing the growing numbers is expected to continue to increase with as many as 50,000 more people expected to return to The Philippines during June. In preparation to handle these increasing numbers, President Duterte reported that more than 22,000 hotel rooms are available to serve as quarantine facilities for returning Filipinos during the mandatory period.
The President’s remarks came after presiding over a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases where they discussed the latest updates on the government’s efforts and programs. Manila and other cities are continuing under quarantine restrictions at least until May 31, while restrictions are being relaxed in other parts of The Philippines. Citizens, however, are still being urged to continue social distancing efforts, wearing face masks, and frequent hand washing as the country continues to work to contain the spread of the virus.
The Philippine Coast Guard recently released a brief video showing the ongoing testing procedures aboard one of the many cruise ships in Manila Bay.
It is unclear once the quarantine process has been completed if the cruise ships will remain in Manila Bay or The Philippines or go elsewhere during their lay-up periods.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]