Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Subic execs trace contacts of Covid-19-positive NAMRIA diver who lied about travel history

Apr 2, 2020 @ 7:25

Subic authorities are reaching out for help in tracing the contacts of a government diver and crew member of a National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) ship docked at the free port area who recently tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chair and administrator Wilma Eisma said the agency will seek assistance from officials of Olongapo City and other areas where the patient had recently travelled in order to avert further virus transmission among his contacts.

“We are in a bind here because while the patient is a crew member of one of the NAMRIA ships berthed in Subic Bay, we have learned that he has relatives and a family in two Olongapo barangays and that he has visited them recently,” she said.

“What also compounds the problem is that in the intervening period between his confinement and possible date of infection, he had travelled to Mindoro via Manila and Batangas to visit his family and friends there,” Eisma added.

According to information gathered by the SBMA Incident Management Team (IMT), the positive case is a crew member of one of the four survey ships of Namria berthed in Subic Bay.

The agency is under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The patient first complained of fever and body pains on March 10, after cleaning the ship’s hull with fellow divers near Grande Island.

Then he consulted doctors at Baypointe Hospital on March 12, and again on March 13. In the afternoon of March 13, he picked up his sister in Olongapo and, with her, consulted again at St. Jude’s Hospital in the City.

In the next two days he stayed on his ship, the hydrographer BRP Palma, which was docked at Subic’s Bravo Wharf.

On March 16, he consulted doctors at the Our Lady of Lourdes International Medical Center in Olongapo but denied history of travel and, thus, was admitted on suspicion that he had dengue fever.

When dengue tests proved negative the following day, he finally admitted travel but denied going out of his vehicle. Swab samples taken on March 21 yielded positive results of Covid-19 infection on March 29.

According to the patient’s ship commander, his subordinate has been regularly taking “ship liberties” during evenings ever since their ship returned to Subic in December last year until March 7. But he denied knowing his subordinate’s whereabouts during those nights out because the latter did not sleep on the ship.

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