28 Apr 2020

Filipino vessel found coronavirus-free by Vanuatu officials

5:44 pm on 28 April 2020

Vanuatu health authorities have found the Filipino vessel at the centre of the Malekula lockdown is free of Covid-19.

The Amazin from the Philippines, anchored in Port Vila

The Amazin from the Philippines, anchored in Port Vila Photo: RNZ Pacific / Hilaire Bule

The Director of Public Health, Len Tarivonda, said the ship was boarded yesterday and officials found the ship posed no threat or risk of Covid-19 contamination.

Dr Tarivonda said they would hand over the report of their investigation to the National Disaster Management Office today.

Since Sunday the NDMO had placed the island of Malekula in lockdown.

The vessel had been to Malekula to collect copra and two people from the island boarded the ship.

Mr Tarivonda said it was now up to the NDMO whether to life the Malekula lockdown or not.

Under current Covid-19 prevention measures imposed by the government, international cargo ships are allowed to come to Vanuatu, but human interaction is prohibited between crew members and the local community.

There are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Vanuatu.