Newest coast guard ship to ferry medical supplies, hospital workers
Franco Luna ( - April 7, 2020 - 1:42pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated April 8, 2020, 10:05 a.m.) — The biggest and newest ship of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday and will be used to transport healthcare frontliners, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and medical supplies. 

This was confirmed by the Philippine Coast Guard's official Twitter page Tuesday morning. 

According to the PCG Commandant, Admiral Joel Garcia, the ship—BRP Gabriela Silang—will be used as a transport ship for hospitals across the country, though it may also be used as a quarantine ship if needed.

Two ships of the 2Go Group Inc. have already been designated for use as quarantine ships. The John B. Lacson, a training ship anchored at the Iloilo River Wharf in Iloilo City, is also being used to house medical frontliners. 

BRP Gabriela Silang is considered the largest and most advanced aluminum hull OPV in the world to date, the PCG said in January when it was set to be used for the repatriation of Filipinos based in the Middle East. 

The PCG has also said that the vessel can ferry approximately 500 people at a time and can sustain up to five weeks of operations.

The BRP Gabriela Silang was earlier intended for patrol, anti-piracy and terrorism missions in the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise off Aurora, and in Mindanao.

As of Monday, the Department of Health had 3,660 confirmed novel coronavirus patients on record as well as 163 deaths and 73 recoveries.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Tuesday morning confirmed that the enhanced community quarantine hoisted over all of mainland Luzon for the past four weeks would see an extension until April 30. 

The United Nations has warned the international community that the "whole of humanity" was put at risk by the novel coronavirus, saying millions could die if collective action was not taken. 

If you believe you have come into possible contact with infected patients, you may be directed to the proper office of the Department of Health for advice through the following lines: (632) 8651-7800 local 1149/1150 or (632) 165-364.

You may also opt to call the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine at (02) 8807-2631/ 8807-2632/ 8807-2637.

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