Two Chinese crew members of a ship, which arrived here from novel coronavirus-hit China, have tested negative for the disease known as COVID-19, the Chennai Port Trust said on Wednesday. The port authority’s statement came hours after it announced their isolation due to fever.
“The laboratory test reports of the two Chinese crew on board the ship MV MAGNATE has been reported negative for COVID-19 by King’s Institute for Preventive Medicine, Guindy,” the Chennai Port Trust said in a release.
The ship will be allowed for unloading operations as per the Standard Operating Procedures for safe port operations according to government guidelines and the “crew will be followed up till sail time.”
“However, landing permit of all Chinese crew is not allowed as per government regulations and will be strictly followed during their port stay,” it added.
Earlier, the two Chinese crew members of the ship, which arrived from the coronavirus-hit China, were kept in isolation. The vessel was also “kept away from access”.
The ship with 19 Chinese crew members had visited Chinese ports earlier and was allowed here on Tuesday after the 14-day incubation period from its last visit to a port in that country and after ensuring that all the crew were healthy based on pre arrival monitoring, the Port Trust said earlier.
On berthing, a health team of the Port Health Officer (PHO) boarded the vessel and examined all the crew and observed that two persons “had mild fever without other respiratory symptoms and otherwise healthy in all respects.”
These crew members were isolated within the ship and the ship was also kept away from access of anybody from shore side, with no shore access to the crew as well.
The blood samples of the isolated individuals were collected and sent for tests.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in China has left 2,004 people dead in the country, even as the overall confirmed cases have crossed 74,000.