300 Crew Members Set Foot On Land After Extended Ship Quarantine
After much-awaited anticipation by seamen and their families to be returned home, 307 Trinidadian cruise workers of the cruise line Enchantment of the Seas were finally allowed to set foot at the Cruise ship Complex, Port of Spain.
The cruise line had been out on the sea for 106 days, after which it returned to Trinidad and Tobago waters. This was followed by quarantine on the ship that was scheduled to end on the 26th of June. However, early COVID-19 testing on the seamen revealed 6 positive cases who were taken into isolation, until proved to be negative.
Three more cases turned positive post the second PCR testing. It was this that led to an extension of quarantine that was supposed to end last Friday. While the ministry of health expresses its concern and care, crew workers stuck inside the ship expressed discontent stating that lack of consideration by the health minister, Mr Terrence Deyalsingh is an utter disgrace. Families have been waiting at the port since Friday, having been told about the extension until Saturday and later, Tuesday.
The Trinidadians also happen to be the last ones to get off the ship. The Indians, Mauritians, and Filipinos were taken care of, first. Crew workers are mentally and emotionally drained after their long stint on the ship, which may turn out to be a significant worry. A crew member has also expressed his disappointment at not being able to go home after he left for the sea in August last year. He was scheduled to return on the 12th of April, 2020.
Added to this is the mandatory shore-side quarantine for 14 days and a third round of testing at facilities provided by the ministry. Families complain that they were asked to provide sheets, pillowcases, and other amenities as the facilities do not provide it.
The seamen are currently quarantining at facilities that were undisclosed until Wednesday: Tacarigua Rackets Centre, Balandra, Caura, Debe, Sangre Grande, and Couva, reports Newsday.