Western Australia on alert as infected crew members from yet another Covid-stricken ship in Perth are placed in a crowded city hospital
- More Covid-infected overseas ship crews have been taken to hospital in Perth
- The ship arrived at Fremantle harbor to facilitate emergency medical evacuation
- Three crew members are taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital for treatment
- It’s the latest in a string of infected cargo ships arriving in Western Australia
Western Australia’s coronavirus measures face a new challenge after crew members of another potentially infected vessel in Perth are hospitalized.
The Darya Krishna bulk carrier docked in the port of Fremantle on Monday to facilitate the emergency medical evacuation.
Authorities had indicated that three symptomatic crew members would be hospitalized, but as of Monday afternoon, only two had been removed from the ship. They were transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital by St John Ambulance.
A spokesman for WA Health said the third person was expected to be transferred later on Monday, but could not provide information about their condition.
The Darya Krishna bulk carrier (pictured) docked in the port of Fremantle on Monday to facilitate the emergency medical evacuation
The remaining 17 crew members would be tested in port according to strict protocols.
Prime Minister Mark McGowan previously said eight crew members reportedly showed flu-like symptoms, including the second officer he described as “incredibly unwell.”
They are suspected of contracting the virus when the Darya Krishna docked in the Indonesian port city of Batam on its way to Australia.
The arrival of yet another likely infected ship after a visit to virus-ridden Indonesia has prompted the WA Prime Minister to warn shipping companies.
“We will reject ships if we can,” he told reporters.
“It might be a little difficult with this particular ship because of the number of people who are unwell, but if we can, we send them away and that sends a message to the shipping companies: you’re losing money if you don’t deal with this situation.” ‘
Prime Minister Mark McGowan previously said eight crew members reportedly showed flu-like symptoms, including the second officer he described as “incredibly unwell” (pictured, the ship in Fremantle Port on Monday)
Mr McGowan admitted that Commonwealth maritime authorities “are not too keen on that approach,” although the WA police chief has emergency powers to prevent ships from entering local waters.
He said he hoped most crew members could remain on board to avoid the risk of infection in the community.
The Darya Krishna left Singapore on July 18 and was bound for the port of Kwinana, south of the CBD.
Indonesia is in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak that has so far resulted in more than 1,500 deaths since it began just weeks ago. The total number of infections is over 3.1 million.
Last week, 10 crew members from another ship – the BBC California – tested positive for the Delta strain of the virus after the cargo ship docked in Fremantle.
Prime Minister McGowa said he hoped most crew members could remain on board the ship (pictured) to avoid the risk of infection in the community
Eight infected crew members remain on board the ship, which had also visited ports in Indonesia.
State and federal leaders have agreed to explore what can be done to prevent visiting ships with infected crews from arriving.
‘My opinion is that when the ships are in Indonesia, the crew stays on board. They won’t come out,” Mr. McGowan said.
“If you get out and go to some of the port cities, there’s a good chance you’ll catch COVID.
“I accept that it will be difficult for the Indonesian government to make this a priority at the moment. It is up to the companies to do their job.’
WA’s borders remain closed to NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia as they deal with their own Delta outbreaks.
The state reported no new cases on Monday.