PANAJI: Altogether 93 Goan crew members on board a cruise ship anchored off Mumbai coast have sought help from Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to return to the coastal state.
They are among the 450 crew members on board cruise ship 'Karnika', which returned to Mumbai last month after dropping 124 passengers in Dubai, officials said.
Goa Port Minister Michael Lobo had taken up the issue of repatriation of the crew to the state, an official said.
It has been decided that upon their arrival from Mumbai, they will be kept in further quarantine for 14 days in Goa before being allowed to go home, he said.
Last week, Goa government decided not to allow the crew members to enter the state in view of the coronavirus threat, after they requested for disembarkment from the ship.
It said they will have to follow coronavirus-related quarantine protocol before they are allowed entry into the state.
In a letter written to Sawant on Monday, the 93 Goan seafarers sought his intervention in helping them return home.
"Our ship has not had a single case of coronavirus or a suspect till date since the disease outbreak last year.
Moreover, no crew member on board 'Karnika' has shown any symptoms of coronavirus," they said in the letter.
They also attached a certificate signed by an on-board doctor, to support their claim of not having any symptoms.
They said the cruise ship sailed from Mumbai to Dubai on March 1 with 124 passengers on board and reached Dubai on March 5.
"All the passengers disembarked at Dubai.
In view of the COVID-19 situation, the ship owner/operator decided to bring the ship back to Mumbai sans any guests (passengers)," the crew members said the letter.
The ship reached Mumbai on March 12, after which all the crew members were medically cleared by the seaport public health office, it said.
It added that due to various travel advisories and also in order to support the efforts to curtail spread of COVID-19, the owner/operator of ship, as a precautionary measure, decided to take it to an outer anchorage of Mumbai as a self-imposed quarantine.