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COVID-19 hit vessel under close watch

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Personnel of three Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) offices in Cavite have been tasked to conduct routine sea patrols around M/V Athens Bridge to ensure that small boats keep away from the ship, whose 12 Filipino crewmembers contracted COVID.

The Athens Bridge with 21 Filipinos on board is anchored 10 kilometers away from Sangley Point, PCG Cavite station chief Lt. Michael John Encina said yesterday.

“While there is no prescribed distance that should be maintained between the Athens Bridge and the other boats, as much as possible a 50-meter distance should be observed,” Encina said.

The area where the ship is anchored could not be accessed easily due to big waves, he said.

The crewmembers regularly communicate with the PCG, especially if they spot small boats approaching the area. They were told not to leave the ship. This is to prevent people in small boats from selling food or other supplies to the crew.

Encina said the PCG is on alert as pirates might attack the Athens Bridge, which docked in India before going to the Philippines.

On Thursday, the PCG delivered 10 oxygen tanks for the 12 Filipinos, two of whom were in critical condition while 10 were asymptomatic.

The critical crewmembers were brought to an undisclosed quarantine facility. The 10 others are being monitored.

PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD
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