Five crew members on board a Maersk containership have tested positive for COVID-19 in China.
Maersk said seven crew members on board Gjertrud Maersk were evacuated after the vessel berthed at Ningbo, China on March 26, 2020.
It said testing has now shown that five of the seafarers have been confirmed with COVID-19, including four who are reported to be asymptomatic. The other two tested negative for the virus.
Maersk said the 9,074 TEU Gjertrud Maersk was awaiting phasing into Maersk’s network and is currently idle at the quayside in Ningbo. The vessel is registered in Denmark.
The affected seafarers are all reported to be in stable condition.
Maersk said, “We can confirm that during the past week, several seafarers onboard the container vessel Gjertrud Maersk were feeling unwell. The safety and health of our people is our main priority and we are doing our utmost to provide the best possible care for our colleagues affected.
“As per our established protocols the seafarers were isolated on the vessel when symptoms appeared, and we are providing medical treatment based on input from our medical advisors.
“We are in close dialogue with local Chinese government authorities as well as port authorities who are providing assistance in handling the situation. On 26 March 2020, the vessel was brought alongside and 7 affected seafarers were evacuated ashore for medical treatment and care.
“The official report from authorities was released today, 30 March 2020, concluding that one of the seafarers has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and four seafarers are asymptomatic infected individuals. The other two are tested negative. The hospitalized seafarers are all in stable conditions.
“The vessel was awaiting phasing into our network and currently idle at the quayside in Ningbo, China. Extra precaution measures will be taken for crew replacement and sanitations will be implemented.”