17 crew members of oil tanker of ship moored at Antwerp docks test positive coronavirus

17 of the 23 crew members of an oil tanker that has been moored at the Port of Antwerp since last Wednesday have tested positive for coronavirus. The 17 PCR tests that gave positive results will now be further examined to see whether those that tested positive are infected with the Indian variant of coronavirus. On Friday 8 of the tanker’s crew tested positive for coronavirus after having taken a rapid test. Almost all of the 23 crew of the Bochum-Brussels tanker are Indians so it could well be the case that those infected have the Indian variant of the virus. 

The tanker arrived in Antwerp from the French port of Le Havre on Wednesday. The vessel is moored at the port’s Doel Dock. The Federal Health Department’s Wendy Lee told VRT News that safety procedures on board the tanker are being followed to the letter. The crew members that tested positive are in isolation in their cabins.

Meanwhile, the Health Department is looking into whether the tanker can remain moored at the port. This would make it easier to transfer crew members that are infected to hospital if this proved necessary. The crew members that are not infected are carrying out essential duties on board the tanker, while spending the rest of their time in their cabins. It will be several days yet before we know whether those crew members that are infected are infected with the Indian variant of coronavirus.

As the crew of this ship came from a country (in this case India) where there are currently high levels of infection they were tested on board their vessel with a PCR test. Sailors from or that have visited countries such as India or South Africa have to provide a negative PCR test result before they are allowed to leave their vessels.

 

 

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