The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Friday, July 30, that it was strictly implementing a “no contact policy” on two quarantined vessel off Lidong port in Albay after two of its crew members tested positive for the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Captain Wilmo Maquirang, deputy commander of the PCG Bicol Region, said the crew members infected with COVID-19 were onboard the towing vessel “MT Clyde” and barge “Claudia” while in quarantine.
The vessels were anchored one nautical mile off Lidong port, Sto. Domingo in Albay.
“Patuloy pong binabantayan ng PCG para hindi po sila malapitan at bantay sarado po ‘yan kasama namin ang ang Maritime Group at Philippine Navy (The PCG continues to monitor them so that no one can approach the vessel and it is strictly guarded, in cooperation with the Maritime Group and the Philippine Navy),” Maquirang said in an interview over ABS CBN’s Teleradyo on Friday.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Thursday, July 29, that two seafarers from the towing vessel and barge Claudia tested positive for Delta variant, bringing the total of of Delta variant in the country to 216 cases.
Maquirang said the PCG personnel have conducted 24/7 safety patrol operations in the area while they communicate with the seafarers at a safe distance.
He also bared that the crew members are currently asymptomatic.
“Tinatanong natin sila, they are saying malalakas po sila. Wala po silang symptoms sabi po nila (We asked them, they are saying that they are strong. They have no symptoms, they said),” Maquirang said.
Last July 14, Claudia and MT Clyde arrived from Indonesia and docked at the Butuan Port in Agusan del Norte to deliver some goods when the crew members were subjected to RT-PCR tests.
The Claudia and MT Clyde were already on their way to a port in Albay when the crew were informed that 12 among the 20 seafarers onboard the barge and towing vessel tested positive for COVID-19.
It was found out that one of those who tested positive actually disembarked at the Butuan port, leaving 11 COVID-positive crew members onboard the vessels.
The PCG Bicol deputy commander said contact tracing is now being conducted in the Butuan area.
Since the seafarers have not yet set foot in the Bicol region, the PCG has strictly implemented a “no contact policy” near the vessels.
“Yung contact tracing sa Butuan po yun ginagawa, pero dito sa Bicol region hindi pa po sila nakakababa ng lupa simula po nung dumating sila dito bantay sarado na po ng PCG ‘yan and hindi po talaga sila nilalapitan (Contact tracing in Butuan was being conducted, but here in the Bicol region they have not been able to set foot in the area since they came here. The PCG is continuously monitoring them so that no one can approach them),” Maquirang said.
“No contact policy po talaga sa kanila ‘yun po yung pinapatupad ng PCG (No contact policy in the vessel, that is what the PCG is implementing),” he added.
The PCG Bicol deputy commander said the authorities have yet to determine how long the seafarers will remain in quarantine on board the vessel.
Maquirang urged mariners, fishermen, and residents not to go near the vessels.
He assured the residents that they are continuously conducting seaborne patrol and in full control of the situation, with assistance from the Philippine National Police – Maritime Group (PNP – MG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Sto. Domingo local government unit, and Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).