SHAH ALAM: The MV Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, due to COVID-19 pandemic, is now on its way to Malaysia to replenish its stores and refuelling.
Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairman Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the cruise ship has certificates and documents as evidence that it has been disinfected and given a clean bill of health by the Japan Quarantine Authorities to confirm no COVID-19 cases on board.
“On May 17, Japan Times online news reported that MV Diamond Princess is on its way to Malaysia. It is scheduled to arrive at Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC) on May 26 or 27 and will leave the port within one to two days. The agents for this cruise ship sent in their application to the Health Department (Ministry of Health) and Immigration Department on May 12 to dock at BCC for the purpose of replenishing its stores and refuelling.
“Their application has been referred to Port Klang Health Department for approval and clearance, as per the standard operation procedure (SOP). We have no information where the cruise ship’s next port after Port Klang,” he said in a statement today.
Chong said all MV Diamond Princess previous crew and passengers have been disembarked in Yokohama, and currently the cruise ship has 172 fresh crews on board with no passengers.
“There will be no signing off of any crew at BCC. For the record, cruise ships are permitted to berth at Malaysia’s ports for disembarking of Malaysian passengers and crew, replenishment of stores, refuelling and repairs.
“PKA and the other related government agencies are subjected to provision and regulations of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and we will strictly comply. All decisions from the MOH with regards to this is final and will be adhered to by PKA and the related agencies,” said Chong.
He added that as a council member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Malaysia is at the forefront, facilitating global and regional maritime trade and tourism.
Chong said in this challenging times especially for the cruise industry, Port Klang as a leading maritime hub in the region will render assistance to service cruise vessels’ primary needs including stores replenishment, bunkering and repairs whilst ensuring precautionary actions and measures are adhered to in accordance to national requirements on health and safety.