Several crew members on board a containership owned and operated by a U.S. subsidiary of Danish shipping giant Maersk have tested positive for coronavirus.
Upon arriving in Newark, New Jersey, on 19 June 2020, a crew member of Maersk Idaho was admitted to a nearby hospital after exhibiting symptoms consistent with pneumonia, according to a statement issued by Maersk Line Limited.
“The mariner has since tested positive for COVID-19 and remains hospitalized in stable condition. The vessel captain reported that the mariner had not been ashore since joining the vessel in mid-April. Prior to knowledge of the mariner testing positive for COVID-19, the vessel had departed for Norfolk where it has taken a position at anchorage outside the port.
“At this time, all crewmembers have been tested and 9 members have asymptomatic positive results and have been notified accordingly,” Maersk Line said in a statement.
Pursuant to a plan approved by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the USCG, as well as other state and local authorities, Maersk said it will soon begin evacuation of the current crew to a quarantine facility.
The 4,658 TEU vessel will be sanitized and a new crew placed on board. The company also plans to commence the port call to conduct cargo operations.
The 20-year old boxship remains at anchor near Norfolk.
In late March this year, several seafarers were evacuated from another Maersk vessel, Gjertrud Maersk, in Ningbo, China and taken to a local hospital for COVID-19 infections.