(MANILA, Philippines) — A cruise ship that is the subject of an Australian criminal investigation for sparking coronavirus infections has sailed into Philippine waters en route to Manila to bring Filipino crewmen home.
The Philippine coast guard said Thursday the Ruby Princess will drop anchor in Manila Bay, where at least 16 other luxury cruise ships have converged since last month while waiting for more than 5,000 Filipino crew members to be tested for the coronavirus before disembarking.
Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said 214 Filipino crewmen on board the Ruby Princess will be tested.
The Ruby Princess has been linked to 19 deaths in Australia and two in the United States. An Australian government inquiry is underway into why 2,700 passengers and crew were allowed to disembark in Sydney on March 19 before the test results of sick passengers were known.
Many passengers flew from Sydney overseas. Two died at home in the United States, including Los Angeles resident Chung Chen, whose family is suing Princess Cruises for more than $1 million for failing to alert passengers to the risk.