Covid 19 coronavirus: Second fishing vessel reportedly dealing with Covid outbreak

A second fishing vessel in New Zealand waters is reportedly dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak.

The Playa Zahara, which had earlier been located just off the coast of Taranaki, has confirmed a number of their crew have been infected with the deadly virus, Stuff reports.

It comes as health officials worked to test crew members on Tuesday, after several members started suffering flu-like illnesses.

The Taranaki District Health Board staff worked together with Port Taranaki staff that day to ensure strict safety measures were carried out as the vessel was brought in to port.

The Playa Zahara is understood to have 18 people on board.

Exactly how many crew members have tested positive for Covid is unclear at this stage.

The vessel is now heading to the Lyttelton Port in Christchurch.

The Ministry of Health would not give anymore information about the Playa Zahara Covid situation, saying: “We will proactively release information if there is a significant update before then, including any update on the Playa Zahara vessel.”

On Tuesday, Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said the vessel had been at sea for more than three weeks, so there has been no contact with others or any crew changes.

No Port Taranaki staff members would be in contact with those on board the vessel either, he said then.

“Should any crew members return a positive Covid-19 test result, we expect the vessel will head to a port where there are managed isolation facilities close by, as has occurred with the Viking Bay.”

The Viking Bay was the vessel that first reported a Covid case among its crew; with two mariners confirmed as having Covid-19 last week.

Earlier this week, a further 13 crew members tested positive as well.

All those affected have been transferred to an on-shore managed isolation facility in Wellington.

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