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32 COVID-19-positive seafarers from Manila arrive in Zamboanga City

32 COVID-19-positive seafarers from Manila arrive in Zamboanga City
John Unson - January 14, 2022

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Thirty-two passengers of a boat from Manila tested positive for COVID-19 in a local government screening facility in the Zamboanga City seaport.

The Bangsamoro regional government is screening separately 336 passengers bound for Sulu, nine others proceeding to Lamitan City in Basilan, and one more who is returning to Tawi-Tawi.

The local government unit of Zamboanga City on Thursday stated on its official social media page that the 32 passengers of a 2GO vessel from Manila on Wednesday tested positive to COVID-19 in rapid antigen tests.

It said the 32 passengers are to be subjected to Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, or RT-PCR testing, for double verification.

Lamitan City Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay said Friday their City Health Office shall reach out to the nine boat passengers from Manila who are from barangays under their jurisdiction for them to be screened for coronavirus infection too.

The Bangsamoro regional government has anti-COVID-19 frontliners in the seaport of Zamboanga City, the main transhipment point for seafarers and cargoes bound for the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The office of Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman, chairperson of the inter-agency Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, has also assured to help in the screening of the nine Lamitan City residents who arrived in Zamboanga City late Wednesday via a boat that had unknowingly carried 32 passengers found positive for COVID-19.