South Africa has quarantined its first cargo vessel, a dry bulk carrier with the unfortunate name of Corona, after one sailor contracted Covid-19 and another crewmember has gone into self-isolation.
The ship is being held off port limits outside of Cape Town, as well as a cruise ship, as it emerged the ill seafarer had been on a flight with a number of passengers bound for a cruise holiday.
The 46,685 dwt Corona, owned by Greece’s AM Nomikos, left the Port of Cape Town on Wednesday. On Friday the master of the vessel contacted the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and the Port Health unit of the National Department of Health, confirming one crewmember was exhibiting symptoms and requesting that the vessel return to the port for evacuation. Permission was granted by both authorities.
“Upon arrival on Monday, 16 March 2020, the vessel waited off port limits. MRCC, Port Health and the Harbour Master of the Port of Cape Town have coordinated efforts to evacuate both crew members by arranging with airforce helicopters for the suspected crew member to be transported to hospital,” a spokesperson for the national port authority, Transnet, said.
Posters can help protect seafarers and visitors on board ships against Coronavirus (COVID-19). BIMCO has made posters that can easily be printed and used on board ships at shoreside and at various other locations. They can be accessed on BIMCO's website: https://t.co/ty9pomxJEZ pic.twitter.com/RKPa9gApIn
— BIMCO (@BIMCONews) March 18, 2020
Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Norman Cummings