MANILA – Two Philippine Navy (PN) ships, the landing dock BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), and the offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) have docked in Cochin, India and loading up boxes of donated face masks.
In a statement Wednesday night, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, PN public affairs office chief, said the face masks were donated by Paul Dantes of LegalZoc Co., a Filipino donor who sources masks from India.
She added that this donation is done in coordination with the Office of Civil Defense.
“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 includes wearing of (personal protective equipment) PPEs and disinfection of the boxes prior loading. A total of 59 boxes constituting the initial 200,000 out of 1 million pieces (of) donated face masks were loaded to LD-602,” Roxas said.
She added that the two ships sailed from Sultan Qaboos, Oman last April 21 and arrived in India on the 29th. The PN vessels stayed in the anchorage area while waiting for the assembly of donations at the port.
Roxas said the PN contingent was accorded a simple welcome ceremony led by the chief staff officer for operations of India’s Southern Naval Command, Commodore Sanjay Nagar.
“LD-602 will also ferry home around 20 Filipino tourists who are stranded in India with the onset of (the coronavirus disease 2019) Covid-19 pandemic. All of them have medical certificates clearing them from coronavirus infection but will still be put in isolation inside the vessel with 24-hour supervision by an onboard medical team,” she added.
Roxas said both vessels will immediately depart for the Philippines upon the completion of their mission in India and are expected to arrive within the month. (IA/PNA)