NSW Health has launched an investigation after the crew of a ship that docked in Sydney later tested positive for COVID-19.
NSW Health has launched an investigation after the crew of a ship that docked in Sydney later tested positive for COVID-19.

Fears COVID has been in Sydney for weeks

NSW Health has launched an investigation after the crew of a ship that docked in Sydney later tested positive for COVID-19.

Health officials were left in the dark over the fact at least 15 Port Botany wharfies who boarded the ship could have been infected for three weeks.

Six out of 15 Sydney workers had returned negative test results by 10pm Thursday. More test results are expected to come back throughout Friday.

The NSW Health investigation will also seek to determine whether an additional three wharfies had boarded the ship.

The Inge Kosan bulk liquids vessel from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea docked at Port Botany on March 31 and stayed there for 24 hours.

After the ship sailed into Port Vila in Vanuatu, health authorities there found 12 out of 13 crew members were COVID-19 positive.

Inge Kosan docked in Sydney for 24 hours at the end of March.
Inge Kosan docked in Sydney for 24 hours at the end of March.

NSW Health said in a statement early Friday morning they were alerted to the situation on Wednesday. That means 21 days elapsed between the Sydney visit and the discovery by NSW authorities.

It comes after reports the dead body of a sailor was found on a beach in Port Vila. It was determined he was infected with the coronavirus.

NSW Health said it was media reports about that death that led officials to launch its investigation.

"NSW Health sought information from the National Incident Room to confirm these reports and investigated the movements of the ship to ascertain if it had been in NSW," the statement read.

"Fifteen workers at Port Botany are confirmed to have boarded the ship to conduct routine port activities before disembarking. No crew members disembarked the ship during its time in Sydney."

NSW Health said there were COVID-safe procedures in place at the port, and that those workers that had been interviewed confirmed they were wearing personal protective equipment.

The discovery of the body in Port Vila sparked a three-day travel lockdown of Vanuatu's main island Efate, ABC News reported.

Originally published as Fears COVID has been in Sydney for weeks



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