18 Oct 2020

Cargo ship anchored at sea after positive Covid-19 test

9:26 pm on 18 October 2020

A cargo ship on which a man worked before testing positive for Covid-19 is anchoring at sea waiting for clearance to dock at Napier Port.

Hands in medical gloves holding COVID-19 swab. Test tube for taking patient sample, PCR DNA testing protocol process. Nasal swab laboratory test in hospital lab.

File photo. Photo: 123RF

A spokesperson for the port said the vessel, the Ken Rei, is not coming into Napier.

The port said it was notified this morning that the vessel was on its way from Taranaki.

It said it will follow any border directive received from the Ministry of Health.

A Ministry spokesperson said the vessel is in quarantine and could not confirm when the ship would dock.

Port Taranaki's shipping schedule shows the Ken Rei departed on Friday evening.

The case relating to the cargo ship was announced today and the man involved had worked on ships that had been at the Ports of Auckland and Port Taranaki.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the case had been caught early and the risk was contained.

He said the man had been getting regular Covid tests every fortnight.

He returned a negative test on 2 October, on Friday 16 October he developed respiratory symptoms, Dr Bloomfield said.

He said the test returned a positive result on Saturday.

Close contacts of the man were either self-isolating or have gone into quarantine.

Dr Bloomfield said the man was in New Plymouth working on a ship at the port there on Wednesday 14 October. He was staying at a local motel and hotel on two different evenings.

The man was not at the Ports of Auckland during his infectious period, Dr Bloomfield said.

He said the Ministry of Health was scaling up testing resources in Taranaki.

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