COVID-19 riddled cargo ship berthed off Port Hedland set for evacuation
Crew members aboard a coronavirus-riddled cargo ship off the Pilbara coast are set to be evacuated to Port Hedland.
This afternoon Health Minister Roger Cook said a “skeleton crew” would be left on the Patricia Oldendorff but the remaining of its 21 crew members were “likely” to be brought onshore.
“An evacuation is the most likely outcome,” he said.
“They’ll be isolated in (Port) Hedland, and possibly in a hotel there.”
Mr Cook said the crew members would be kept quarantined in the Pilbara town unless there was a “clinical need” to bring them to Perth.
“So now what we’ll probably have to do is go through and test all the other crew members to ensure that we understand any spread of the disease on board,” he said.
Doctors and nurses will be sent up to Port Headland this afternoon to bolster medical staff who are already on the ground.
“Potentially we’ll be sending security personnel up, we want to make sure that any security personnel we use have got training in infection control, understand their obligations and security in our quarantine facilities,” Mr Cook said.
The Patricia Oldendorff was scheduled to dock in Port Hedland this week to pick up a shipment of manganese ore.
Earlier this week the vessel’s master reported two of the 21 Filipino crew members on board were displaying flu-like symptoms.
They tested positive to the deadly virus on Wednesday night after nurses wearing full personal protective equipment were transported to the ship by helicopter to take swabs.
Both have since been isolated from other crew members.
No new additional COVID-19 cases were recorded in WA overnight Health Minister Roger Cook added this afternoon.
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