Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan says a cargo ship with seven crew members suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms is ready to dock in Fremantle today or tomorrow.
- The ship, which has come from Indonesia, has 14 crews on board
- Half of the crew members show COVID symptoms
- The ship calls at Fremantle to facilitate a medical examination
There are 14 crew members on board BBC California, half of whom show “COVID-19-like symptoms”.
The ship’s captain has asked the sick crew members to be medically examined when the ship is in Fremantle, which Mr McGowan said expected at “some time today or tomorrow”.
BBC California, which sails under the flags of Antigua and Barbuda, left Egypt in June and has recently visited three ports in Indonesia.
It left Indonesia on 11 July and was scheduled to dock at Kwinana, where it was to be loaded with ammonium nitrate before going to the port of Newcastle in New South Wales.
Some of the crew members had been ill since July 12, McGowan said, and were therefore in danger of sudden deterioration.
“We assume COVID-19 is aboard this ship,” he said.
“I have called on our authorities to ensure that everything is done to follow the very strict health protocols.
“If an outbreak of COVID-19 is detected on board pending further assessment of the conditions on board the ship, our team will manage the situation as best they can.
Sir. McGowan said it was assumed that crew members who were confirmed COVID-19 positive would have the Delta strain.
“Every case we get seems to be the Delta tribe [these days]”, he said.
The goal is to keep the crew members on board, Premier says
The seven crew members were all isolated in cabins, the prime minister added.
“We are doing everything we can to keep the crew members on board [and] to ensure they are steered on board, ”McGowan said.
“If anyone needs to be taken off and isolated in a hospital, then that’s what will happen.”
Sir. McGowan said the state government adhered to strict protocols when it came to international ships because of the risk they presented to society.
“Ports and shipping make a significant contribution to our community and as engine rooms to [national economy],” he said.
“[But] we can not take any chances or become complacent.
“We can not allow any risk of the virus entering Western Australia through international shipping.”
Sir. However, McGowan said the situation was different compared to previous ship infections, as half of the crew showed symptoms.
“The risk is that the remaining seven crew members could go bad,” he said.
“[I]f all the crews get sick and can not operate the ship out on the open sea, who knows what would happen … it’s a maritime emergency. “
WA did not detect any new COVID-19 cases overnight.
The state has seven active cases, six of which are in hotel quarantine.
One person, a crew member from MV Emerald Indah, remains in the hospital.
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