A Filipino seafarer in Australia turns positive for Covid-19

The Filipino crewmember of Key Integrity, who earlier displayed colds and flu-like symptoms, was tested positive for Covid-19, according to Western Australia Today.

Key Intergrity Bulk Carrier | Photo source: Fleetmon

Because of this development, WA Premier Mark McGowan said there is a need for international action to address Covid outbreaks on ships sailing in West Australian waters.

The ore carrier Key Integrity, which was scheduled to leave Geraldton yesterday  with confirmed Covid case on board is set to sail to Fremantle on Monday, October 19.

The subject crewmember was immediately tested for Covid upon arriving in Geraldton on Saturday and his test result turned positive.

Key Integrity left Manila on October 6 after a crew change.

WAToday reported that Mr McGowan had described the incident a “significant issue” and had commented that international action needed to be taken, especially as the Philippines was proving to be a “major problem”.

“I feel sorry for Filipino crewmembers, they work hard, they basically support commerce around the world, they’re not highly paid, but clearly the quarantine arrangements in the Philippines are not working,” the report said.

“Some point in time we may have to say ‘ships going through certain ports can no longer come into Australian ports’ but it would be far better if those countries put in appropriate testing regimes and quarantine regimes before the ships set sail.”

Mr. McGowan said an alternative that should be seriously considered was having more Australian crew, rather than overseas workers from countries with less effective testing and quarantine regimes.
Last October 12, WAToday reported that Australian mining companies would no longer employ Filipino seafarers after Filipino crew of Vega Dream and Patricia Oldendorff were found positive for Covid-19 after executing crew changes in Manila.The Transportation department was reported to have looked into the Covid infections of seafarers bound for Australia in a bid to mitigate the adverse decision of Australia mining companies. 

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