PCG monitors vessel with 12 Covid-positive crew members en route to Albay

Marje Pelayo   •   July 19, 2021   •   168

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Albay Station is closely monitoring a towing vessel with 12 crew members declared positive for COVID-19.

In a press release on Monday (July 19), the PCG Station Albay assured it is continuously monitoring the status of MT Clyde and barge, Claudia, a towing vessel loaded with 8,000 metric tons of steam coal to ensure that its crew will not deviate route and will not disembark crew members without proper authority.

MT Clyde and barge, Claudia is from Butuan City, Agusan del Norte enroute to Lidong Port, Sto. Domingo, Albay.

According to the PCG, the vessels’ master Captain Francisco Vargas notified PCG Albay Station at around 10:00 a.m. on Sunday (July 18) regarding their latest position which was in the vicinity waters off Western Samar.

According to Captain Vargas, his 19 crew members are all physically safe and sound, including himself but 12 of them are confirmed positive for COVID-19, all asymptomatic and in good health condition.

However, only 11 of the 12 positive individuals remain on board after one of his crew members, also positive for COVID-19, disembarked in Butuan City.

Captain Vargas assured PCG Station Albay that they will not disembark their vessels without proper authority.

He said they will arrive at Lidong Port, Sto. Domingo, Albay at around 03:00 p.m. Tuesday (July 20).

Towing vessel, MT Clyde and barge, Claudia arrived at Port of Butuan in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte from Indonesia on July 14 and left the next day.

Before leaving Indonesia, the crew underwent RT-PCR tests for COVID-19.

However, while the vessels were already at sea enroute to Albay, they were informed that 12 of them are positive for COVID-19.

PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. already directed all Coast Guard districts and units nationwide to step up monitoring of all vessels with crew or passengers who may be carriers of the Delta variant of COVID-19, most especially borders near Indonesia and Malaysia in the Southern part of the Philippines.

Batanes records first community transmission of COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2021

Batanes has recorded the province’s first community transmission of COVID-19.

In a post on Thursday (September 16), the provincial government of Batanes confirmed that the province has community transmission after four residents without a travel history, tested positive for COVID-19.

There are a total of 21 confirmed cases in the province, with 17 recovered cases and zero deaths. Meanwhile, there are nine suspected or probable cases recorded.

The local government said three of the active cases are now undergoing quarantine at Batanes General Hospital while the other patient is undergoing quarantine at the Department of Agriculture–Batanes Experiment Station.

Residents in the area are advised to remain vigilant by following health and safety protocols and that mass gatherings and non-essential travels are not allowed. Residents with comorbidity, minors, senior citizens and pregnant women are prohibited from leaving their homes. AAC

Philippines adds more countries to COVID-19 ‘red list’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has updated its list of “red, yellow, and green” countries and territories, Malacañang said Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the revised list of areas that are classified as “red, yellow, and green.”

“This new classification shall take effect on September 19, 2021 until September 30, 2021,” Roque said.

Territories under the red list are considered as “high-risk.”

The red list will now include Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Slovenia.

The government earlier said that inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or have been to “red” nations are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

Filipinos returning to the Philippines through government-facilitated or non-government repatriation programs, as well as special commercial flights allowed under existing IATF resolutions are not covered by the travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, areas included in the “green” list are as follows:

  • American Samoa
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Gabon
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Poland
  • Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Taiwan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cook Islands
  • Eritrea
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
    North Korea
  • Saint Helena
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikstan
  • Tanzania
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Yemen

 

Green countries are those considered “low-risk” for COVID-19 based on disease incidence rate.

All other countries/territories/jurisdictions not mentioned are in the yellow list, Roque said.

Inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or who have been to the “yellow” countries within 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines are required to undergo strict entry, testing and quarantine protocols.

Quezon City gov’t looking into possible causes of COVID-19 spread in 2 convents

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

The Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) is currently looking into the possible causes of COVID-19 outbreak in two convents in the city, the local government said Thursday.

In a statement, the city government said massive contact tracing efforts are underway to contain the further transmission of the virus.

A total of 114 individuals, including 64 nuns and 50 staff members, tested positive for COVID-19 at the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in Cubao.

At the Convent of the Holy Spirit, 22 individuals were confirmed to have caught the virus, including 13 nuns and 9 staff members.

The city government said both facilities have been placed under lockdown.

CESU chief Dr. Rolando Cruz said they became aware of the situation after the cases were recorded in the surveillance data reported by a testing laboratory.

“Hindi po tayo ang nag-swab sa kanila. Nagpa-test po sila sa iba at nang lumabas na ang resulta sa laboratory, na-record ito sa surveillance data,” he said in the same statement.

“Now, our team is conducting an investigation and intensive contact tracing to get more details about the matter,” he added.

Cruz said part of the ongoing investigation is to determine if any of the positive individuals had any close contact with anyone outside of their facility.

Initial investigation revealed that a nun at the Convent of Holy Spirit passed away due to COVID-19 in early September. A physical therapist in the facility was reportedly exposed to the patient.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier ordered the CESU to conduct active surveillance of closed settings in the city such as nursing homes and convents after 122 people, including 99 children, in an orphanage tested positive for COVID-19.

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