BAGUIO CITY – Nagsimula ng mag-refund at magpauwi ng mga pasahero ang Westerdam Cruise Ship na stranded matapos dumaong sa pantalan sa Cambodia.

Halos 18-araw kasi na nagpalutang-lutang sa South China Sea ang cruise ship matapos tanggihan ng Pilipinas, Taiwan, Japan, Guam at Thailand ang barko na unang dumaan sa Hong Kong.

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Ang pagtanggi ng nasabing mga bansa ay bunsod ng pangamba sa pagkalat ng novel coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19)

Sa panayam ng Star FM Baguio kay Frank King, isang American comedian at performer sa cruise ship, ikinuwento nito ang kanilang naging paglalakbay.

“We sailed out of Hong Kong on the first of February. The ship wisely did not allow anybody who had been to mainland China in the last couple of weeks to join us. When we left Hong Kong, there were no cases of flu in Hong Kong. We were sailing towards the Philippines, and we were turned away. We stopped in Taiwan. They did a temperature check on shore. The next day, they threw us out of the country. So we were going to sail to Japan, and then they said no,: ani King.

“Our next choice of port was Guam. They turned us [down again]. We sailed the circle for several hours, trying to figure out where to we would go. We sailed for Thailand. There were still details to be worked out. We were only half a day sail from Thailand when the Thai government said no. They sent out a military boat to shadow us, so we had to make a decision and we changed course again. We headed to the second choice of ports, the one where we’re at now in Cambodia.”

Westerdam Cruise 1

Nagpasalamat naman sila at walang nag positibo sa COVID19 sa naturang cruise.

“I think the only fear was that somebody would come down with it and they wouldn’t let us dock, like what they’ve done with the Diamond Princess. But fortunately, no one on the ship, remarkable, given how many people were on the ship, had the flu. There were 20 people they tested when we got here. But all 20 samples came back negative for the coronavirus, so that was when they gave us the final clearance.”

Sinabi rin naman ng performer na marami sa mga Pilipino sa cruise ay mga crew member, at nagkaroon man ng aberya ay hindi nila ipinakita ang kanilang pagkadismaya.

“The Filipinos in the ship, I know they’re disappointed because a lot of them apparently were hoping to see friends and family on port. They were terribly disappointed although they were good in not showing it. People were in good spirits. A little distressed, but overall, in good spirits, with good sense of humor.”

ASa report ay mahigit 2000 ang sakay ng cruise ship kung saan nasa 260 ang mga Pinoy crew na inaasahang makakauwi na rin.