DOH: 11 MV Athens Bridge crew members tested positive for COVID-19 in repeat swab test

MARINA earlier said two COVID-19-positive crew members of the ship that was allowed to dock in Manila from India, the MV Athens Bridge, are in critical condition. They were evacuated from the vessel to a medical facility, MARINA said./MARINA/

(Eagle News) — Eleven crew members of the MV Athens Bridge tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Health’s Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Alethea De Guzman said this was based on a repeat swab test on 12 crew members of the vessel that docked in Manila from India recently.

Earlier, the Maritime Industry Authority said the vessel had 21 crew members.

Of the 12 who were swabbed again, De Guzman said one “needs to be rerun.”

Earlier, MARINA  said two of the 12 COVID-19-positive crew members of the ship were in critical condition.

According to MARINA, the ship was allowed to dock at the Port of Manila on May 6 upon clearance  from the Bureau of Quarantine and the Department of Health.

The PCG had sought the clearance after a request from the vessel’s captain for a medical evacuation of the two  crew members who needed urgent medical care.

The vessel, at that time, was located 12 nautical miles west of Corregidor Island.

According to the vessel’s shipping agent, MV Athens Bridge departed India on April 22 and arrived in Haiphong, Vietnam on May 1 for the conduct of the crew’s RT-PCR test.

It was later on found that several were positive for COVID-19.

The Philippines has an existing travel ban on travelers from India, where another COVID-19 virus variant, said to be a “double-mutant,”  was reported in the country.

The ban is expected to be lifted on May 14.