The ship, owned and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), was in the news recently after seven of its 20-man crew were tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving at Port Hedland in Western Australia,.
According to Magsaysay MOL Ship Management (MMSM), the ship manager of Vega Dream, the ship arrived in Manila with its 19 officers and crew on October 22 from Western Australia.
Upon arrival at Port Hedland in Western Australia, its messman who suffered fever underway disembarked on October 10 and underwent RT-PCR test. He was positive for Covid-19 and was quarantined in a state-run hospital.
All the 19 remaining crew were also tested by the Western Australia Department of Health and six turned positive for the contagious virus.
MMSM, however, was able to convince Australian authorities to allow the vessel to sail back to Manila and enable the ship manager to replace the entire crew since the six Covid-positive were isolated in their cabins and all asymptomatic.
The Australian authorities agreed provided the vessel would report twice daily in the morning and afternoon until it reaches Manila.
Sadly, in the aftermath of the Vega Dream incident and another ore carrier with some crewmembers also turned Covid positive, it was reported that Australian mining companies decided they would refrain from employing Filipinos to prevent another Covid outbreak.
MMSM President CE Vic Pono said that the mining companies eventually changed their mind after realizing that 90 % of the vessels servicing their industry were fully or partly manned by Filipinos.
Vega Dream is set to sail again on Nov. 6 after a new batch of 20 officers and crew, fresh from quarantine, will join the ore carrier at the port of Manila.