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.