Mexico lets cruise ship dock in Cozumel as crew member found to have flu, not coronavirus
UNTV News • February 28, 2020 • 553
A cruise ship with more than 6,000 people aboard was given permission on Wednesday (February 27) to dock in Mexico after passengers were denied entry in two Caribbean ports due to fears, later disproven, that a crew member was infected with the coronavirus.
Global cruise operator MSC Cruises said that Mexican authorities approved its ship MSC Meraviglia to dock in Cozumel.
The vessel, which started a tour of the western Caribbean from Miami, was due to arrive late on Wednesday or Thursday.
Jamaica and Grand Cayman had earlier barred passengers of the ship from disembarking on fears that one crew member, who has since been diagnosed with common seasonal flu, might have been infected with the coronavirus.
Cruise ships have been in the spotlight after confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the British-registered Diamond Princess approached 700 with three deaths since the ship docked at a Japanese port on Feb. 3.
A document from Mexico’s Health Ministry reviewed by Reuters said the MSC Meraviglia had been granted “free pratique,” or permission to enter the Cozumel port based on the assessment that it presented no risk of spreading disease.
It was not clear whether the ship’s passengers would be allowed to disembark in Cozumel.
MSC Cruises said the person with the seasonal flu was isolated for security measures but that no other cases of type-A influenza have been discovered on board – and no coronavirus infections have been reported on any of its ships.
“The crew member who was diagnosed with common seasonal flu is in a stable condition, receiving anti-viral treatment and medication, and is now free of fever and nearly recovered,” it said.
Alejandra Aguirre, health secretary of Quintana Roo state, where the Caribbean island of Cozumel is located, said, “We have information regarding the patient and fortunately it is not a case of coronavirus.”
Coronavirus, believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, most in China.
However, more than 30 countries have since reported cases with major outbreaks in South Korea, Iran, and Italy. (REUTERS CONNECT)
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has been discharged from the hospital after a bout with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), his office said Friday.
In a message to reporters, his office said Dela Rosa will continue taking his medicines at home and will be placed under home quarantine as advised by his doctors.
His staff on Thursday said Dela Rosa was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 23 after developing fever, cough, and colds so that he could be monitored better, and that his condition is already improving.
The former Philippine National Police chief confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 21, after the Senate wrapped up the period of debates for the proposed 2021 budget.
Dela Rosa said he and three other members of his household contracted the virus.
Dela Rosa was the fifth senator to be infected with COVID-19 this year. His colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Sonny Angara, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla all recovered from the viral respiratory disease. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine procurement for early vaccine distribution, according to Malacañang.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President has issued Executive Order (EO) No. 121 granting an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.
Based on the Executive Order, the President will grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to provide Emergency Use Authorization for medicines for the treatment of COVID-19.
“Kung magkakaroon ng emergency use utilization, ang mga rehistrado sa mga foreign FDA na mga bakuna, mapapabilis po ang pag-issue ng authority to use it under EUA to 21 days. Normally po kung wala itong Executive Order na ito it will take as long as six months,” Roque said.
The Palace official added that the EUA will be good for the country as it will pave the way for ending the pandemic and the return to normalcy. AAC
Twenty-five Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) employees in Subic tested positive for COVID-19 after holding two parties in November.
According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Health and Safety Department Dr. Solomon Jacalne, out of the 65 employees of a BPO company that attended the two parties, 25 of them are currently under quarantine.
“Contact tracing indicated that the employees who tested positive of Covid-19 either attended the parties or were exposed to co-workers who went to the said social gatherings,” he said.
Jacalne said the employees attended a beach party in Olonggapo City and a pool party in Zambales. He also said several of the workers did not accurately declare their health condition which might also have contributed to the surge of COVID-19 cases.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the surge in cases would have been avoided if the employees followed the minimum health protocols.
“This was the lesson some employees of a business process outsourcing company here recently learned the hard way after attending parties that might have served as super-spreading events,” she added.
Eisma said the agency will conduct an investigation on the incident and will implement additional safety measures in work areas of the concerned company. AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)
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