Ship with 491 passengers turned away in Nasipit, allowed to dock in Cagayan de Oro 

By: Froilan Gallardo - Correspondent/CDN Digital | March 16,2020 - 06:30 PM

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines — The Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) ship, “M/V St. Francis Xavier,” which was turned away from Nasipit port in Agusan del Norte, has finally found a safe harbor in Cagayan de Oro City.

With this, some 491 passengers from Manila and Cebu were able to disembark from the ship on Monday morning (March 16, 2020).

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said he allowed the ship to dock in the port of Macabalan here after the Philippine Coast Guard told him that authorities in Nasipit refused to accommodate the ship.

Health workers wearing gloves and armed with thermal scanners immediately examined all the passengers as they left the ship.

Ship passengers negative of COVID-19

Moreno said at least 22 passenger buses were waiting for the arriving passengers at the dock and immediately whisked them away.

He said none of the passengers registered more than 38 degrees centigrade in the thermal scanners and were declared negative of the COVID-19 by a team from the Department of Health Region 10.

“The buses left the port immediately bound for the provinces of eastern Mindanao where most of the passengers reside,” Moreno said.

He said the health works advised the local government units where the passengers were going to place them under 14-day self-quarantine.

Cebu arrival

M/V St. Francis Xavier, a Ro-Ro ship owned by 2Go shipping line first arrived  in Cebu City from Manila with 931 passengers last weekend ahead of the lockdown ordered by President Duterte in Manila.

Read more: PUI in ship from Manila, 311 passengers cleared

Of the 312 passengers who disembarked in the Cebu City port, one person had a slight fever and was considered by the Cebu City Health officers as a person under investigation (PUI).

Dr. Daisy Villa, Cebu City Health officer, said then that the person had no symptom of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (2019) except for the slight fever.

The passenger was quarantined and was turned over to the Provincial Health Office because the passenger lived in a town outside Cebu City.

More than 300 passengers disembarked in Cebu City before the ship crew received word from Nasipit authorities that they would not be allowed to dock in their port.

Moreno said he allowed the ship to dock in Cagayan de Oro for “humanitarian purposes.”

Cagayan de Oro has yet to impose a community quarantine despite the death of one COVID-19 patient last Friday, March 13, 2020. /dbs

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TAGS: Cagayan de Oro, COVID-19, M/V St. Francis Javier, ship

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