New seafarers’ quarantine facility launched in Bataan

New seafarers’ quarantine facility launched in Bataan

QUARANTINE FACILITY FOR SEAFARERS. Transportation department officials take a tour of the new Port Capinpin quarantine facility in Orion, Bataan. DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran on Friday (Oct. 9, 2020) says the new facility can house a total of 124 seafarers and has divisions to separate the healthy from those infected and those in critical condition due to Covid-19. (Screenshot from DOTr Asec. Goddes Hope Libiran)

MANILA – A new quarantine facility dedicated to the use of seafarers was launched on Friday at Port Capinpin in Orion, Bataan.

In a video blog, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the new facility will be able to house as many as 124 seafarers at the same time and will mainly be used during crew change activities—the process of replacing seafarers aboard both local and international vessels.

“Meron siyang 25 na beds na dedicated doon sa mga in critical condition at meron din naman na around 75 for patients with mild conditions. At meron din siyang nursing stations. Dun naman sa likod, meron din naman comfort rooms na napaka-ganda naman (It has 25 beds for those in critical condition and 75 beds for those with mild conditions. It also has nursing stations. At the back, there are nice comfort rooms),” Libiran said.

The project was built by the DOTr and the Philippine Ports Authority from the donation of the Lopez Group of Companies.

She said the construction of the facility began in September and was completed on October 7.

Before the completion of the facility, she said seafarers awaiting their Covid-19 test results needed to be quarantined in establishments far from Port Capinpin.

Libiran said seafarers would only need to undergo processing approved by the Bataan provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) before walking to the new facility for their quarantine.

On Monday, the PPA launched the South Harbor Molecular Laboratory in Port Area, Manila, a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing laboratory for the coronavirus disease 2019 that would mainly cater to seafarers.

To date, the country has three crew change hubs—Port of Manila, Port Capinpin, and Subic Bay Freeport—that would ease the processing of seafarers through a ‘one-stop-shop’ that contains satellite offices of several government offices. (PNA)

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