Jamaican crew members from the Marella Discovery 2 who have tested positive for COVID-19 are pointing fingers at the government, arguing that they were infected while in state quarantine.
As a result, they will be proceeding with legal action against the government.
Attorney for the group, Jennifer Housen, said she is awaiting instructions from her clients who have been in quarantine since their arrival in Jamaica from the United Kingdom on May 6.
The 43 Jamaicans requested to disembark the vessel in early April while in Jamaican waters and sought legal advice.
The Ministry of Health has revealed that 12 of the crew members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Six of the cases were recorded on Wednesday.
According to Ms Housen, her clients' grouses relate to "the way the government dealt with them, as well as even with having been debarked into Jamaica and where they have been placed may have raised their risk of infection...and then now we're seeing persons who were negative having tested positive."
Ms Housen, who was speaking in an interview with Radio Jamaica News, added to her clients' argument of cross contamination. She said the government has several questions to answer about the protocols in place at the quarantine facilities.
"What we have not heard, for example, is whoever has had the contract to provide meals, how have these persons been informed or trained in order to deal with these types of quarantine protocols? Have they come through one corridor? How has the risk of infection and potential cross contamination been minimised? How have these persons dealt with any PP equipment that they've worn? Is it that they have worn PP equipment in dealing with the packages that these persons who are quarantined are to receive?" she questioned.
The 14-day quarantine for those Jamaicans from the Marella Discovery 2 would have ended on Wednesday.
Government did enough
The government, in the meantime, has rejected the assertion that it did not do enough to negotiate the safe return of the Jamaican ship workers on the Marella Discovery 2 cruise ship.
Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who was a guest on TVJ's All Angles Wednesday night, explained that the cruise ship had come 12 miles off the coast of Jamaica to refuel, and while doing so, made a request to the government to receive the Jamaicans.
She noted that the call had been impromptu, therefore the government did not yet have measures in place to accommodate their disembarkation.
Furthermore, she contended that it was the same time in which the government had been seeking to locate the 5,000 people who had come into the country on flights just before the closure of the Jamaica's borders.
Still, she said when the matter of the Jamaicans on the ship was brought to the government's attention, the Ministry of Health and other agencies sought to make arrangements to accommodate them but was informed less than 24 hours later that the ship had withdrawn.
Senator Johnson Smith acknowledged significant challenges in trying to coordinate the return of thousands of Jamaicans who have requested to return home.
"Things are extremely complex and there are a hundred thousand crew workers across the world who are trying get home, and part of the reason that it is difficult is because of the high risk nature of the ship in and of itself. So even when they indicate that there are strong sanitation protocols etc, as did the Marella...it is important for the government to ensure that we have appropiate protocols on this side to make sure that even if those assertions are made in the best of faith, that we protect our Jamaicans here and that we repatriate our nationals safely," she said.