Vessel denied entry sails to Philippines

A cargo ship, scheduled to sail into Samoa last week until authorities were advised it had a positive COVID-19 case on board, has returned to the Philippines.

According to the Marine Traffic navigation website, the MV Coral Islander II which was due to offload supplies for local businesses is currently in Manila, after a 17-day voyage from American Samoa capital Pago Pago.

The vessel’s crew were tested in Pago Pago where they returned a positive COVID-19 test with the local authority being alerted.

The Ministry of Health's Director-General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, said the vessel was advised that they had to remain at sea for 14 days quarantine to await further testing. 

He said the agent decided they would rather use the 14 days to sail off and return to its route.The vessel is sailing under the flag of Panama. 

Cargo belonging to local businesses, which included school uniforms, was part of the shipment. 

Locally-owned tailoring company Eveni Carruthers I.H. announced last week that their uniform stock that was ordered and scheduled to arrive early in time for the start of the 2021 academic year will now be delayed until March.

The company said they support the precautionary measures enforced by the Government. 

The National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) Interim Chairman, Agafili Shem Leo, said the health of the nation is the Government’s priority. 

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