The Department of Health said (DOH) on Friday, May 7, that of the 21 Filipino crew members aboard MV Athens Bridge from India, 12 tested positive for COVID-19, including two seafarers who are in critical condition.
In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cargo ship was coordinating with the national government before it was allowed to dock in Manila on May 6.
“They were coordinating with us, and appealing na ipadaong ‘yung barko dahil kailangan ng tulong ng dalawang crew members (that they be allowed to dock their ship because crew members needed help). So what we did, we accommodated. They were allowed to dock,” she said.
Vergeire said that the two patients in critical condition were already transferred to a hospital facility in Manila, while the 10 other positive cases, as well as those who were exposed, were isolated in a quarantine facility.
In a statement on Friday, the maritime sector of the Department of Transportation 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 members’ swab testing.
The agency said the Philippine Coast Guard received a request from the vessel’s captain to execute a medical evacuation of the two seafarers who needed immediate medical care.
Vergeire said that all positive samples would be subjected to genome sequencing to check the presence of the B1617 variant of COVID-19, which is believed to be driving the surge in infections in India. – Rappler.com