Embarrassed by a video which went viral on social media about the deplorable conditions in which 19 returning cruise ship workers from Caribbean Princess were placed in quarantine, the Keith Mitchell-led government is moving to take them into a better facility in the True Blue area.
A high-level source in the National COVID-19 Response Team said that arrangements are now being made to transfer the angry and agitated workers who returned home at around 1.25 p.m today to the True Blue Bay Resorts.
According to the source who spoke on condition that he was not identified it was the understanding of the team that the cruise ship workers were expected to go straight on arrival to the True Blue Bay Resorts to be quarantined for the next 14 days.
However, he said that he did not know who took the decision to change the plan since the Management of the small hotel was contacted days ago to provide the necessary accommodation for the returning nationals.
A leading hotelier told THE NEW TODAY that apart from True Blue Bay, some other hotels were approached by government and were prepared to open rooms to accommodate the returning cruise ship passengers.
The workers staged an open rebellion a few hours ago upon arrival on the island against the accommodation provided to them at the rundown Grand Anse campus of St. George’s University (SGU).
Government is also known to be using the upscale SGU campus in True Blue to house some of the persons involved in the frontline battle against the coronavirus.
In the video which was obtained by THE NEW TODAY, one of the quarantined cruise ship workers was heard saying that there was a dead fly on one of the beds, the place was smelly, full of cobweb and the floor was littered with garbage
The workers also complained about the food provided to them for their dinner and one was heard saying that she will not eat it and preferred to go to bed hungry for the night.
According to the government insider, the True Blue Bay Resorts was immediately contacted in the face of the open rebellion to provide meals tonight for the angry cruise ship passengers.
The workers showed on the video captured on social media the dinner that was previously served to them and rejected from a white food box that contained a sandwich, a piece of cake, and two sweets.
“This is our dinner … unbelievable. We are not ungrateful or anything – we just don’t like this”, she said.
“This is the dump that we staying in. It is not like we are ungrateful or anything. Come on… they could have done better than that”, she added.
The female distressed worker claimed that the electric light bulbs are not working in the bedroom assigned to her and uttered the words “this is what my EC$9,500.00 per person got me”.
A government official had indicated to THE NEW TODAY earlier in the day that an arrangement had been worked out to facilitate the return of the workers in which the cruise liner had agreed to pay for the housing.
He said that on arrival back in the country all the workers will be taken to a place to stay for 14 days in “compulsory quarantine” and tested for the coronavirus and that the Mitchell-led government had “negotiated for the Cruise Company to pay for the quarantine of each worker”.
THE NEW TODAY understands that government has been using the SGU facility near to the Grand Anse beach as one of its Quarantine facilities since the outbreak of the coronavirus on the island.