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Covid-19 cluster on Oldendorff vessel off Western Australia

Photo: Mufid Majnun - Unsplash mufid-majnun-aNEaWqVoT0g-unsplash.jpg
A Covid-19 cluster has been found onboard the bulker Patricia Oldendorff in the port of Pilbara Western Australia.

A total of nine crew onboard the Oldendorff vessel have tested positive for Covid-19 according to the Western Australia Department of Health, and it said more positive cases were expected.

Latest update: 17 crew from Patricia Oldendorff test positive for Covid-19 off Port Hedland

Seven seafarers tested positive for Covid-19 on 26 September following positive tests for two other crew on the vessel. The seven were part of the nine crew remaining on the vessel after the previous positive tests, the two other seafarers left on the Patricia Oldendorff tested negative.

Twelve crew, including two who tested positive, had been transferred off the vessel and were quarantined in hotel where it was reported they remained well.

“Given the size of the vessel and number of crew, the Department of Health anticipates additional crew will also become Covid-19 positive over coming days,” the Department of Health said. The tests results for the remaining crew are expected to be reported on Monday.

“Planning is being put in place with the vessel operator, Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Pilbara Ports Authority regarding the safety of the vessel and potential replacement crew – if required. Daily cleaning of the vessel has also commenced, with a deep clean to be conducted prior to any new crew boarding the vessel.”

Western Australia has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 globally with 676 cases in the state of which 651 have recovered. The state has implemented strict border controls including with other Australian states.