PCG holds cargo ship from China for violating COVID-19 protocols
MANILA, Philippines — Cargo vessel “MV Harmony 6” that departed China has been placed under temporary detention after violating maritime security measures against the spread of the deadly COVID-19, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Friday.
“Immediately, the vessel was declared under temporary detention at the anchorage area while the investigation about the violations is ongoing,” PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said in a statement.
He said the Panama-flagged cruise ship failed to meet the required 14-day mandatory quarantine before arriving at the Philippine waters.
In an initial report, Garcia said the Captain Luu Van Loi of MV Harmony 6, misdeclared dates in their documents to make it appear that they have complied with the required quarantine period.
The Vietnamese ship went to Changzhou, China before traveling to Manila. The vessel arrived in the country on Feb. 23. However, local authorities discovered that the vessel’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) has been turned off.
Its crew is composed of 18 Vietnamese and five Indian crewmen.
Under the PCG’s protocols, any vessel that came from virus-hit countries should undergo a 14-day period from its date of departure before the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) can conduct health inspection among its crew which is needed for port clearance.
PCG said the ship remained at the anchorage area at the port in La Union while the investigation is ongoing.
“PCG will coordinate with BOQ to identify possible criminal charges if MV Harmony 6 will be found guilty of mentioned violations,” Garcia said in a statement.
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