PH authorities respond to MV Athens Bridge emergency as 12 Pinoys on board catch COVID

Published May 7, 2021, 6:41 PM

by Ariel Fernandez

The national government’s maritime sector came in full force to assist the 12 Filipino crew members aboard MV Athens Bridge who tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after a recent trip from India, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Friday, May 7.

(Photo courtesy of Department of Transportation Facebook)

Personnel from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the agency members of the One-Stop Shop (OSS) Port of Manila have joined hands to help all COVID-infected Filipino crew members of the vessel.

MV Athens Bridge departed from India on April 22 and arrived in Haiphong, Vietnam on May 1. There, all of its personnel were subjected to a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

It was later found out that 12 of the 21 crew members aboard the ship got infected with the coronavirus.

The PCG said it received a request from the vessel’s captain on Thursday, May 6, to execute a medical evacuation (medevac) of two crew members who both needed urgent medical care. The vessel, at that time, was located 12 nautical miles west of Corregidor Island in Manila Bay.

Upon securing clearance from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and the Department of Health (DOH), MV Athens Bridge was directed to the quarantine anchorage area designated by the OSS Port of Manila.

Security was also provided by the PCG to ensure that no unauthorized vessel or banca will approach MV Athens Bridge in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

BOQ doctors boarded the vessel to assess the condition of the crew and recommended the immediate medevac of the critical crew members.

As of posting time, the crew members in critical condition have been safely evacuated and brought to the dedicated medical facility for treatment.

The rest of the crew who remained in the vessel shall be provided the with needed medical supplies, including oxygen tanks, through the assistance from BOQ and PCG.