Coronavirus scare: Two onboard cargo ship isolated at Chennai port

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on February 19, 2020

Two Chinese crew members of the cargo ship Magnate were isolated at the Chennai port due to mild fever, on suspicion of the coronavirus infection. Before coming to Chennai, the ship had visited various Chinese ports during the last few days.

The ship, with 19 Chinese crew members on board, was allowed at the port on February 18 — after an incubation period of 14 days from the last visit to a Chinese port — after ensuring that all crew are healthy based on pre-arrival monitoring.

On berthing, the port health team comprising the port health officer and a public health specialist-cum-deputy port health officer boarded the vessel and examined all the crew members. It was observed that two of the 19 crew members had a mild fever, but without other respiratory symptoms and otherwise healthy in all respects. The two crew members were isolated within the ship and the vessel kept away from access by anybody from the shore-side, and no crew is allowed shore access, said a press release from the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT).

The State health team and port health officer visited the ship on Wednesday morning and collected blood samples after taking all due precautions as per standard, and sent it to the Kings Institute of Preventive Medicine, Guindy.

After receipt of the report, the port authorities and officials of PHO will take strict measures as per the SOP regarding further action, the release said.

Update: Test negative

A later release from ChPT said the two crew members had tested negative for COVID-19.

The ship will be allowed for unloading operation, though the crew will be followed up till sail time.

Published on February 19, 2020

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