Coronavirus crisis: 24 Al Messilah crew members test positive to COVID-19

Michael Traill and Josh ZimmermanThe West Australian
25 crew members from the Al Messilah have tested positive to COVID-19.
Camera Icon25 crew members from the Al Messilah have tested positive to COVID-19. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The Sunday Times

A further 24 crew members aboard a livestock carrier berthed at Fremantle have tested positive to COVID-19.

Twenty five crew members from the Al Messilah have now contracted the potentially deadly virus.

Health authorities plan to remove the infected crew from livestock carrier and place them into hotel quarantine, a process Health Minister Roger Cook said would begin in the next 24 hours.

Mr Cooks said the Al Messilah, which currently has 52 crew on board, would need to retain a skeleton crew to keep the vessel operational and that it would be “deep cleaned” and “disinfected” in the same manner as the Al Kuwait was earlier this year.

The Key Integrity arrives at Fremantle Port. One crew member has tested positive to COVID-19.
Camera IconThe Key Integrity arrives at Fremantle Port. One crew member has tested positive to COVID-19. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian

Bulk carrier Key Integrity arrived at Fremantle Port from Geraldton earlier this afternoon carrying one coronavirus-infected crew member who is isolating in his cabin.

Mr Cook said a WA health team planned to test the remaining 19 crew today with results due tomorrow.

After announcing the new cases this afternoon, Premier Mark McGowan said ships arriving in the State with the virus on board was the biggest risk to WA’s way of life.

Around 30 vessels are arriving at WA ports “each and every day” according to the Premier.

“This is why we are demanding the Commonwealth Government step up and work with other jurisdictions on the issue,” he said.

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