Vessels from Indonesia headed for Albay

Cet Dematera (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2021 - 12:00am

12 crewmembers positive for COVID-19

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Authorities are on the lookout for the arrival in Albay tomorrow of a tugboat and a barge where 12 of 20 crewmembers have tested positive for COVID.

The T/B Clyde and M/B Claudia reportedly came from Indonesia before it docked at the port of Masao in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte on July 14.

Indonesia has been experiencing a surge in COVID cases, driven largely by the more infectious Delta variant first detected in India.

The city government of Butuan informed the Office of Civil Defense in Bicol about the results of the RT-PCR or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests conducted on the crewmembers, according to Gremil Alexis Naz, spokesman for OCD-Bicol.

Clyde and Julia left Butuan before the results of the RT-PCR tests were released.

“They instead alerted us here in Bicol when they learned that the vessels would be docking in a private port in Sto. Domingo on Tuesday,” Naz told The STAR yesterday.

OCD-Bicol chief Claudio Yucot said he contacted Nathaniel Uy, the owner of the tugboat and barge, regarding the situation.

“Uy promised to submit to all conditions and protocols that the authorities would set for the crewmembers and the vessels,” Yucot said.

He added that Uy committed to attend a meeting that the Bicol inter-agency task force and other agencies will conduct today.

Naz said authorities have agreed not to allow the boat and the barge to dock anywhere in Albay until all the inspections and other safety processes are completed.

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