A Filipino crew on board ‘Bulk Carina’, a bulk carrier which docked at VO Chidambaranar Port Trust (VOCPT) on June 15, was found to be coronavirus positive, the first such instance involving crew on a cargo ship calling at an Indian port to discharge cargo.
The Marshall Islands flagged ship owned by Orient Hakusan Shipping SA had arrived to discharge coal cargo.
This is the first instance where a crew on a vessel calling at VOCPT, one of the 12 ports owned by the Central government, was found to be coronavirus positive.
The port authorities have lifted the gangway to check personnel from getting off unless the ship comes back to the original position.
The vessel docked on June 15, at that time the ship was cleared because nobody was sick, a government official said. But, on June 17, one of the Filipino crew developed fever. The master of the ship reported that one of the crew was showing symptoms, immediately he isolated the crew on board itself and informed the port authorities.
Health officials went on board and took the swab of the crew and the vessel immediately stopped cargo discharge operations and was moved to a separate berth and quarantined for 14 days.
The crew was taken to the quarantine shelter for further tests and upon confirming positive, was taken to an isolation centre.
The rest of the all Filipino crew on board are being monitored. “The gangway has been lifted and access to and from the vessel to the land is stopped. Nobody can go on board without approval. The vessel was disinfected and the area was also disinfected. This is being done daily, the official said.