The crew remains on the ship after positive Covid tests

The Covid-19 is again in southern waters.

Two crew members of La Guimorais, a bulk carrier now moored at the southern port of Bluff, yesterday recorded weak positive Covid-19 results.

“The crew members were tested as part of the process for a crew member to leave the ship and return home on compassionate grounds,” a spokesperson for the Department of Health said.

“All crew members remain on the ship.”

Because the positive results were small, health officials tentatively believed these were historical cases.

“Most of the crew are vaccinated,” the spokesperson said.

“None of the crew had symptoms or reported recent illness during the voyage.”

Nationwide, 190 community cases of Covid-19 were confirmed yesterday by the Department of Health, 182 in Auckland, seven in Waikato and one in Northland.

Despite the high number of cases, just below the record 206 community cases announced on Saturday, Cabinet yesterday confirmed a relaxation of alert levels in Northland, Auckland and Waikato.

Bluff’s 23 crew were retested yesterday and results were expected today.

A South Port spokeswoman confirmed she was briefed on the situation on Sunday morning.

The vessel was in quarantine and isolated at its berth.

“New Zealand Customs and Public Health South handle all interactions between the ship and the crew.”

South Port staff had been informed of the positive Covid-19 test, the South Port spokeswoman said.

The port’s shipping schedule reveals that the boat, which had sailed to New Zealand from Malaysia, was shipping urea, which was due to be unloaded at Bluff, and was due to leave today at 6 p.m.

On the Marine Traffic website it is stated that La Guimorais is a 179.99m long bulk carrier which was built in 2014 and sails under the flag of Malta.

His next destination would be Timaru.

The ship is the second ship with Covid-19 positive crew members on board to have docked at South Port in recent months.

When the Mattina arrived in Bluff in mid-July, two sailors with Covid-19 had to be transferred to Southland Hospital for treatment, a visit which revealed serious shortcomings in hospital preparations in the event of a pandemic.

In September, the Southern District Health Board learned that cost-cutting measures taken 13 years ago meant that the only isolation room in the emergency department at Southland Hospital did not have an anteroom – a requirement physical to ensure the safety of staff and other patients.

Staff, already strained by a high number of patients in the ward, had to improvise an anteroom from plastic sheeting.

SDHB also had to arrange secure shore accommodation for some of the crew and transfer others to a managed isolation and quarantine center in Christchurch – a 10 hour trip – as there is no ‘installations in the SDHB region.

The ministry spokesman said there had so far been two healthcare interactions with La Guimorais, both Covid tests for his crew.

Southern DHB has developed resurgence plans for its hospitals in relation to Covid-19, and as part of its current plans, it has been decided that all Covid-19 positive patients requiring hospital care will be transferred. at Dunedin Hospital, ” he said.

“Southland Hospital is ready to stabilize patients as needed, and additional work is underway at the hospital to enable it to better manage Covid-positive patients. “


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