Two crew members of the container ship MV Athens Bridge, which sailed out of India on April 22, were rushed to the hospital after showing signs of severe COVID-19, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said Friday.
Two members of the Bureau of Quarantine went to check on the crewmen and recommended that two of them be brought to the hospital for treatment.
Ten other sailors were stricken with COVID-19, but they were left behind on the ship, docked at Sangley Point in Cavite City.
Ten oxygen tanks were brought on board the ship to help its ill crew members.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the Department of Transportation said the maritime sector had aided the vessel's crew of 21 Filipinos, 12 of whom tested positive for COVID-19.
The vessel, which flies the flag of Panama, secured clearance from the Bureau of Quarantine and the Department of Health on Thursday and was directed to its quarantine anchorage area by the port.
"Early 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 DOTr said.
The Philippine Coast Guard has also provided security to ensure that no unauthorized vessels or bancas would approach the MV Athens Bridge.
“The national government, through the maritime sector of the DOTr, 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,” the DOTr said.
MV Athens Bridge was reported to have departed from India on April 22 and arrived in Haiphong, Vietnam on May 1 where the crew was administered reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.
On Thursday, the PCG received a request from the ship’s captain for the medical evacuation of its two crew members who required urgent medical care.
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