Potential virus ship docks in NSW via Qld

By | October 9, 2020

A coal ship carrying international mariners that docked in NSW on Thursday has become the latest focus of a testing blitz after one crew member returned an inconclusive coronavirus test result.

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the ship left Brisbane and docked at Newcastle where 14 crew members were swabbed for COVID-19.

One member returned a positive test, which was initially thought to reflect an old infection, but further testing is under way because the results are “inconclusive,” Dr Chant told reporters on Friday.

“An additional seven crew are being tested and there is repeat testing being conducted,” she said.

“I should stress that no-one is at risk from this in the general community.”

The ship, Anacapa Light, remains docked at Newcastle and no one, aside from the patient who is undergoing further testing, has left the vessel, which had travelled from India.

The member is currently receiving treatment in John Hunter Hospital.

“We are working quickly with all of the authorities to resolve the outcome for the ship,” Dr Chant said.

“But as you can understand, we need to be thorough in completing additional testing.”

NSW recorded another 10 cases of coronavirus on Friday, with five of those linked to existing local transmission.

The other five are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Public health controller at Hunter New England Health, Dr David Durrheim, confirmed 14 crew were tested for the virus at Newcastle after boarding the ship in India.

“No crew members have recorded any symptoms and they have not been permitted to disembark while awaiting laboratory test results,” he said.

“One of the crew has tested positive for COVID-19 and is receiving medical care and further tests at John Hunter Hospital.

“He is currently well.”

He said crew members are considered close contacts and will remain on board in quarantine.

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