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Support given to COVID positive Filipino seafarers in Western Australia

The Delta Strain has been detected on board another cargo ship in Western Australia.

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Angel Cuerpo
Angel is a student at Monash University currently undertaking her Masters of Applied Linguistics. Angel has always had a passion for writing and languages completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English as an International Language. In her spare time, Angel takes drama classes where she performs and writes scenes.

The Filipino community with support from the Philippine Consulate in Perth has provided care packages for the workers aboard the BBC California, a cargo ship riddled with the Delta strain of COVID-19.

The ship departed Indonesia on the 11 July before making its way to Western Australia, where it is currently berthed at Fremantle Port since 19 July. 

It is believed that there are 14 crew from the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria on board the ship and 8 tested positive for the Delta strain of COVID-19 on the 19 July.

The remaining crew have been told to self-isolate within their cabins on the ship, where medical assistance can be provided if it is needed. 

On 20 July, an additional 2 members of the crew tested positive for COVID-19. It’s understood that one of the Filipino seafarers has since been transferred to Hotel Quarantine at the Novotel Hotel in Perth and has tested negative.

Over the weekend, care packages for the workers aboard the BBC California at the Indian Ocean Shipping Agency and Novotel were organised and dropped off for the Filipino seafarers.

Honorary Philippine Consul Virma Symons shared her gratitude for the support of some Filipino-Australians in Perth who have organised care packs for the Filipino seafarers. Eric James Almen and Eddie Magtuto organised care packs with the support of Melissa Aguasa of Melissa’s Supermarket, and Emma Hanh-ma.

Virma has also shared a post of Filipino who has cooked Filipino food for the Filipino seafarers at the Novotel.

The ship was scheduled to berth in Kwinana so it could be loaded with ammonium nitrate before making its way to the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales.

Main photo: BBC California docked at Fremantle, with Melissa Aguasa organising groceries from her Filipino store. | Courtesy of ABC News, Virma Symons

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