MANILA – Naisalba na ng Department of Health (DOH) ang 12 Pilipinong crew ng MV Athens Bridge na nag-positibo sa COVID-19.

“The DOH through, the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) on Thursday assisted the MV Athens Bridge in its entry into the country and provided immediate medical aid to its crew members after 12 of its Filipino crew tested positive for COVID-19, with 2 in critical condition,” batay sa press release.

Noong May 3 nang humingi ng saklolo sa mga otoridad ng Pilipinas ang mga ahensta ng barko matapos tumanggi ang bansang Vietnam na padaungin ang foreign vessel.

Mayroon kasing travel history sa India ang MV Athens Bridge, na may sakay na 21 Pinoy crew.

Ayon sa DOH, isinugod na sa isang ospital sa Metro Manila ang dalawang crew na nasa kritikal na kondisyon.

Ang natitirang 10 na positibo rin sa COVID-19 ay dadalhin sa quarantine facility ng BOQ, kasama ang iba pang crew na may exposure sa kanila.

“The DOH immediately directed the BOQ to facilitate medical rescue of the Filipinos aboard the vessel.”

“The BOQ, together with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) immediately conducted an emergency meeting to coordinate the medivac of 2 Filipinos in critical condition and determine the best course of action for the rest of the crew.”

Nagpaliwanag naman si Health Sec. Francisco Duque III matapos payagan ang barko na makadong sa Maynila.

Ito ay sa gitna ng banta at posibilidad ng B.1.617 variant, na unang natuklasan sa India.

“In deciding our action steps, our guiding principle was that those were our hardworking kababayans aboard and we would never leave any Filipino behind,” ayon sa kalihim.

Tiniyak ng Health department na nasunod ang health protocols sa isinagawang rescue operation sa mga Pilipinong crew ng barko, lalo na ang mga dinapuan ng COVID-19.

“We assure Filipinos that we complied with the protocols in handling COVID-19 patients and have coordinated with other government agencies to deliver urgent assistance to our kababayans.”