MANILA, Philippines — Maritime authorities are currently in full force in assisting all Filipino crew members aboard a COVID-19 positive vessel MV Athens Bridge from India.
A statement from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) on Friday (May 7) said that MV Athens Bridge departed from India on April 22 and arrived in Haiphong, Vietnam on May 1 for the conduct of the crew’s RT-PCR test, as reported by the vessel’s shipping agent.
It was, later on, found that out of the 21 Filipino crew members on board, 12 of them tested positive for COVID-19.
On May 6, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) received a request from the vessel’s captain to execute a medical evacuation of the two crew members who both needed urgent medical care.
The vessel, at that time, was located 12 nautical miles west of Corregidor Island.
Upon securing clearance from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and the Department of Health, MV Athens Bridge was directed to the quarantine anchorage area designated by the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) Port of Manila.
Security was also provided by the PCG to ensure that no unauthorized vessel or banca will approach the vessel.
MARINA said that, immediately on the evening of the same day, BOQ doctors boarded the vessel to assess the condition of the crew and recommended the immediate medical evacuation of two crew members in critical condition.
The crew members in critical condition have been safely evacuated and brought to the dedicated medical facility for treatment.
The rest of the crew are contained in the vessel and shall be provided with needed medical supplies, including oxygen tanks, with assistance from the BOQ and the PCG.
The operation is spearheaded by the maritime sector of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) consisting of the MARINA, the PCG, and the Philippine Ports Authority, in cooperation with the agency members of the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) Port of Manila.
The national government assures that the situation and the condition of the crew members will be consistently monitored. Health and safety protocols will also be prioritized throughout the entire process.