Report: Coronavirus Scare on Bulker in India

Two crew members of a bulk carrier arriving from China to Chennai were tested for coronavirus after a medical screening of the crew members determined that two men had a fever, the Press Trust of India informed.

The ship, identified as MV Magnate, was reportedly put under quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to berth in Chennai as it had called at several Chinese ports before reaching India.

Once moored in Chennai on February 18th, a medical team boarded the ship and examined 19 of its crew members. The two men who had fever were put in isolation and the vessel was “kept away from access.”

The two crew members had their blood samples collected on Wednesday morning, which were sent for testing at King’s Institute for Preventive Medicine.

According to the Chennai Port Trust, cited by Indian media, the two men tested negative for the virus.

As informed, the ship will proceed for discharging operations, however, the crew would not be allowed to disembark, and would be monitored continuously.

Based on the latest AIS data from Marine Traffic, the Panama-flagged bulker, built in 2004, remains moored in Chennai.

There have been no confirmed Coronavirus cases on board cargo ships so far, according to the International Transport Federation (ITF).

However, the outbreak has had a major impact on the cruise sector, as several ships reported virus infections on board.

The outbreak has seen port authorities across the world introduce precautionary measures, including medical screenings of personnel, especially when dealing with ships coming from China amid fears that the outbreak might spread.

Based on the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 75, 204 confirmed coronavirus cases over the world, out of which 74 280 were recorded in China.

World Maritime News Staff