Navy ships to bring back stranded Filipino tourists in India
Aside from getting face masks from a Filipino donor, the Philippine Navy (PN) contingents initially deployed to Middle East will also assist in the repatriation of stranded Filipino tourists in India.
Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, Philippine Navy spokesman, said BRP Davao Del Sur (LD602) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) docked in Cochin, India on Wednesday.
"These two vessels that sailed from Oman arrived in India on April 29 and stayed in the anchorage area while waiting for the assembly of donation at the port," she said.
They were accorded a simple welcome ceremony led by the chief staff officer for operations of India's Southern Naval Command, Commo. Sanjay Nagar, said Roxas.
Roxas said the Philippine Navy vessels is set to pick up boxes of face masks donated by Paul Dantes of LegalZoc Co., a Filipino donor who sources masks in India in coordination with the Office of Civil Defense as the lead agency that consolidates donations to the national government.
"The hauling process began shortly after they docked with strict adherence to stringent measures to ensure the safety of PN personnel in charge of the hauling which include wearing of PPEs ( personal protective equipment) and disinfection of the boxes prior loading," she said.
"A total of 59 boxes constituting the initial 200 thousand out of one million pieces donated face masks were loaded to LD602," she added.
Roxas said LD602 will also ferry home around 20 Filipino tourists stranded in India with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.
"All of them have medical certificates clearing them from coronavirus infection but they will still be put in isolation inside the vessel with 24-hour supervision by an onboard
medical team," she added.
Roxas said the two Philippine Navy vessels will depart for the Philippines upon completion of their mission in India. They are expected to arrive within May. Robina Asido/DMS