Bicol on alert for arrival of tugboat with COVID-positive crew

Published July 19, 2021, 7:55 AM

by Philippine News Agency

LEGAZPI CITY – The Bicol Regional Task Force COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) are on alert status for the arrival of a tugboat and barge from Butuan City reportedly with crew members infected with the virus, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said on Sunday.

In an interview, OCD spokesperson Gremil Naz said the agency raised the alert on Saturday after receiving a report that M/V Tug Clyde and Barge Claudia would arrive at a private port in Sto. Domingo, Albay around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, with 20 crew members, 12 of whom are COVID-19 positive.

“The 258 gross tons tugboat and barge whose last port of call was Indonesia is reportedly owned and operated by Nathaniel Uy of Barangay San Vicente, Milaor town in Camarines Sur province,” he said.

The vessel from Indonesia arrived at the port of Butuan at around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 14.

Naz said there was no information yet about the purpose of the vessel’s port of call in Indonesia and why it docked at Butuan port.

The OCD denied an earlier report that the vessel sailed for Albay without seeking clearance from maritime authorities in Butuan.

“The OCD has already gotten in touch with the owner of the vessel and assured the agency that the vessel and its crew would comply with all health protocols set by the task force upon arrival on Tuesday,” he added.