BW Epic Kosan-owned LPG carrier Inge Kosan has been detained in Vanuatu after a body of a crewmember was reportedly found on a beach near Port Vila and later tested positive for Covid-19.
The UK-flagged 3,800 dwt ship found one crewmen was not aboard as it sailed out of Port Vila earlier in April and had to return to conduct a search and rescue operation.
It’s unclear whether the Filipino crewman, who has yet to be named, died from Covid-19 nor how he came to wash ashore on the island.
As a result, Vanuatu has banned outward travel from its main island for three days and placed its police officers who handled the body in quarantine.
Vanuatu authorities said that chances of community transmission were small.
However, the leader of the opposition, Ralph Regenvanu, said on Twitter that although Vanuatu had imposed “admirably strict quarantine protocols on all ports of entry into the country,” they didn’t foresee that a dead body with Covid-19 could wash ashore and be put in “the only mortuary in the country where people gather to mourn every day.”
The Pacific island country has reported only three previous cases of Covid-19.