Indonesian freighter docks in Fremantle, WA with HALF of its crew feared to be infected with Covid-19

Indonesian freighter docks in Australia with HALF of its crew feared to be infected with Covid and virus ‘adopted on ship’

  • The BBC California left Egypt on June 8 and visited three ports in Indonesia
  • On about July 12, seven of the fourteen crew members began to feel unwell
  • The vessel docked in Fremantle harbor on July 19 and disembarked for testing
  • They all returned to the ship after being tested by protected health professionals
  • Prime Minister Mark McGowan said a specialist medical team will assist the crew

Crew members potentially infected with Covid-19 have disembarked from their freighter in Fremantle to be tested by Western Australian health officials.

The BBC California left Egypt on June 8 and has since visited three ports in Indonesia.

Seven of the 14 crew on board became unwell on or about 12 July. The captain has requested a medical examination of the crew.

An Indonesian freighter (pictured) docked in Fremantle Port, WA after half of its 14 crew became unwell on about July 12

The ship docked in Fremantle harbor Monday, allowing crew members to disembark in small groups for pilot testing.

They were met by health workers and police, dressed in personal protective equipment, and returned to the ship a short time later.

Prime Minister Mark McGowan will address the media later on Monday.

The crew (pictured exiting the ship to be tested) of the BBC California became unwell after leaving Egypt on June 8 and stopping at multiple ports in Indonesia

The crew (pictured exiting the ship to be tested) of the BBC California became unwell after leaving Egypt on June 8 and stopping at multiple ports in Indonesia

He had indicated on Sunday that a specialized medical team would be on board to assess the crew.

“We are assuming that Covid-19 is on board this ship, so all precautions will be taken,” he said.

The sick crew members are six Filipinos and one Russian, the rest from Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia.

They are isolated in separate huts and do not currently require medical attention.

But McGowan said there was a risk of a sudden deterioration in their health, which could lead to a maritime emergency.

“I would have liked this ship to have returned to Indonesia immediately, but that was not possible given the number of sick crew on board,” he said.

“If all the crew get sick and can’t steer the ship, can’t function on the high seas…who knows what could happen.”

Crew members disembarked, accompanied by heavily protected medical personnel and police, before being tested and returning to the ship

Crew members disembarked, accompanied by heavily protected medical personnel and police, before being tested and returning to the ship

WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan said on Sunday that a specialist medical team will board the ship to treat ill crew members

WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan said on Sunday that a specialist medical team will board the ship to treat ill crew members

He said WA had successfully addressed about 10 similar situations since the start of the pandemic.

“We cannot let the virus in through international shipping,” said Mr McGowan.

The BBC California operates under the banner of Antigua and Barbuda.

WA registered no new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday.

The state has seven active cases, with six in hotel quarantine and one in stable condition at a hospital in Perth.

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