The Philippine Navy (PN) contingent to this year’s “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) exercises, which include the officers and crew of missile-frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), have tested negative for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“Aside from the two personnel from FF-150 that was (earlier) confirmed to be positive (for Covid-19), all (crew members) got negative results,” PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Thursday.
The two personnel are already undergoing quarantine and treatment at the V. Luna Hospital, Quezon City.
The swab testing for BRP Jose Rizal’s crew and other members of the contingent took place at the Philippine Arena, Bulacan last July 19.
“RIMPAC participation (of the PN) will push through and the preparation is on course,” Roxas said.
This year’s RIMPAC, touted as the largest maritime warfare exercise in the world, is scheduled for August 17 to 31 off Hawaii.
The PN contingent, including the crew of BRP Jose Rizal, is around 100, and scheduled to depart on July 29.
Earlier, Roxas said the ship’s crew will use the two-week RIMPAC drills as its “shakedown cruise” to test the performance and seaworthiness of the brand-new missile frigate.
A “shakedown cruise” allows the crew to familiarize themselves aboard a new vessel and to ensure all of the ship’s systems are functional. PNA.GOV.PH