11 Indians rescued from burning boat

Updated 11 March 2014

11 Indians rescued from burning boat

The Coast Guard and Saudi Aramco saved 11 Indian seamen Tuesday from a cargo tugboat that caught fire off Jubail in the Eastern Province.
The boat had departed from the Kasphap port in Oman on Monday with some 800 goats and was headed to Kuwait via Saudi waters.
Col. Khaled Al-Arqubi, a Coast Guard spokesman in the Eastern Province, told Arab News on Thursday: “The Coast Guard received information from Saudi Aramco stating that a boat had caught fire near the island of Karan, Aramco’s offshore gas field, with 11 Indian sailors on board.”
Al-Arqubi said that Aramco officials and members of the Coast Guard went out on several boats and attempted to extinguish the fire, but the burning boat sank.
The boat’s captain, Salim Karim Sanghar, who hails from Jamnagar in Gujarat, told Arab News that “the engineer on board saw flames coming from the boat’s engine. Six of the crewmembers were asleep, while others were on the job at the time of the incident. The boat contained bundles of grass for feeding the goats, which went up in flames. The boat was completely engulfed and had no choice but to jump into the water for safety.”
The survivors were transferred onto a rescue boat and moved to Jubail on Wednesday.
Sanghar praised Saudi authorities, including Saudi Aramco, for their humanitarian approach and timely assistance.
“Saudi Aramco sailors gave us clothes and Saudi coastguards gave us food and a place to stay at their base in Jubail,” he added. “I hope to be able to get home as soon as possible.”
Al-Arqubi said that two crewmembers were injured and were taken to Jubail General Hospital for treatment, and they are in stable condition.
Meanwhile, procedures for the repatriation of the sailors are underway.
“The Indian Embassy is following up on the case and Sibi George, India’s deputy chief of mission in Riyadh, has dispatched Mohammed Imdad Alam, an embassy officer, to the Jubail port to meet the sailors and arrange for their repatriation,” said Shamsudheen Chettippadi, an Indian social worker who met the sailors and coastguard officials in Jubail.


Manila turns ships, hotels into isolation centers

A fireman sprays disinfectant from the back of a firetruck to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 during a localized quarantine in Manila. (AP)
Updated 44 min 18 sec ago

Manila turns ships, hotels into isolation centers

  • Duterte unveils record $4bn aid package as number of COVID-19 cases passes 2,000

MANILA: The Philippines on Tuesday started earmarking hotels, ships, gyms, and convention centers for use as quarantine areas as the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases swept past the 2,000 mark.

The move coincided with an announcement by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to allocate 200 billion pesos ($4 billion) toward helping low-income households severely affected by the health crisis.
“They are the ones in the informal sector and those who live day-to-day on subsistence wages or ‘no-work, no-pay’ arrangements,” he said.
On Tuesday the Philippines recorded 538 new COVID-19 infections – the highest single-day increase since the start of the outbreak — taking the total number of cases in the country to 2,084, with 88 deaths and 49 recovered patients.
Cabinet secretary and spokesman for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Karlo Nograles said the country’s health, transportation, and defense departments would be working together to ensure delivery of personal protective equipment for “the front-liners on the ground” fighting the spread of COVID-19.
He added that authorities had been asked to identify suitable buildings and facilities that could be used as quarantine or isolation centers.
Following the arrival of more COVID-19 test kits from abroad, Duterte’s government announced extra measures to tackle the pandemic in anticipation of a further surge in the number of infection cases.
Nograles said the Department of Transportation had been tasked with identifying maritime vessels that could serve as floating quarantine centers, while the Department of Tourism had been asked to draw up a list of hotels and accommodation establishments that could also be made available for patient care.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways, in cooperation with private entities, will convert the Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into isolation facilities.
Local government units (LGUs) will be in charge of furbishing provincial, city, municipal, and barangay quarantine facilities.

FASTFACT

Luzon island, the country’s largest and most populous island, has been under lockdown since March 17 and will remain so until at least April 12.

The LGUs have also been ordered to help in the provision of basic necessities and local transport for residents, and identify individuals to carry out intensive contact tracing, assessments and disinfection operations in their respective localities.
Luzon island, the country’s largest and most populous island, has been under lockdown since March 17 and will remain so until at least April 12.
In an address to the nation on Monday, Duterte announced that the government was undertaking several key measures to overcome and recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“We have allotted 200 billion pesos for low-income households who are severely affected by the current crisis,” he said, adding that it was the largest aid package in the Philippines’ history to make up for the loss of economic opportunities due to the quarantine measures.
He also gave reassurances over supplies of food and other essential goods while imposing a price freeze on commodities.
“We are marshaling and deploying the resources of government to provide our frontline health workers with everything they require so they can save as many lives as possible.
“We are now procuring medical supplies, devices and personal protective equipment. About 1 million medical protective items are being acquired right now, with the government and the private sector working together to purchase or produce the necessary quantities,” Duterte added. The country’s capacity to conduct broader tests has also been ramped up to help give a more accurate picture of the spread of COVID-19 in the country.