Advocates call for protection of seafarers after COVID-19 death of Filipino crew member on Grand Princess cruise ship

This was the Grand Princess Cruise ship docking in Oakland, Calif. last month.

The first to disembark from the Port of Oakland were 19 crew members, 13 of whom are Filipino, and two passengers who tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Bay Area advocacy groups, one of those Filipino crew members infected with the coronavirus recently died in a San Francisco hospital.

In a Zoom press conference call, Terry Valen, president of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, or NAFCON, said his group learned of the passing through speaking with the repatriated crew members.

“On behalf of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, I wish to extend our sympathy and condolences to the family and co-workers of the Grand Princess crew member, who passed away on April 1. The consulate general will continue to coordinate with concerned authorities on the appropriate handling of the remains of the deceased and assist with relevant formalities.”

For his part — Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr. acknowledged the crewman’s death last April 1 and expressed his condolences to the crewman’s family and co-workers.

Bensurto also said they ensure the appropriate handling of the Filipino crewman’s remains.

In an email to Fox 2 KTVY, Princess Cruises Spokeswoman Negin Kamali said, “All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened to report that one of our team members who was working on Grand Princess passed away, from complications related to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, team members and all who are impacted by this loss. All of us at princess cruises offer our sincere condolences.”

Meanwhile, Valen reiterated the need to protect the remaining workers.

Nearly 650 crewmembers completed their 14-day quarantine last Saturday.

They have been on the ship for over a month since the cruise ship was struck with the coronavirus.

“given that there have been a higher level of exposure and risk, they need to be tested and given the treatment, including psychological and medical evaluations, to make sure that all of their health is taken care of. If they can’t get back home, they need to be accommodated in housing. You know, to make sure that it’s safe in safe housing for them and healthy, but also if they can’t travel then they need to be taken care of. This is a responsibility we believe of Princess Cruises.”

The Filipino crew member is the third person aboard the grand princess to die from the coronavirus.

Federal officials confirmed the other two were male passengers who were in their early 60s.

Meanwhile — Valen reiterated the need to protect the remaining workers.

Nearly 650 crew members completed their 14-day quarantine last Saturday. They have been on the ship for over a month since the cruise ship was struck with the coronavirus.

“Given that there have been a higher level of exposure and risk, they need to be tested and given the treatment, including psychological and medical evaluations, to make sure that all of their health is taken care of. If they can’t get back home, they need to be accommodated in housing. You know, to make sure that it’s safe in safe housing for them and healthy, but also if they can’t travel then they need to be taken care of. This is a responsibility we believe of Princess Cruises.”

The Filipino crew member is the third person aboard the Grand Princess to die from the coronavirus.

Federal officials confirmed the other two were male passengers who were in their early 60s.

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