Bulk carrier MV Western Copenhagen has been denied entry into Maltese territorial waters amid suspicion that one of the crew has been infected by the Ebola virus.
The Hong Kong-flagged ship was en route from Guinea to Ukraine. However, as one of the crew, a Filipino national, had taken ill the captain requested to dock in Malta where the ill crewmember could be provided the necessary medical assistance.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the ship was turned away since the patient’s symptoms were similar to Ebola, adding that the decision was morally and legally correct.
As explained by the Maltese health officials, the country does not have the adequate facilities to treat Ebola patients.
The Armed Forces of Malta kept a close eye on the ship to prevent it from entering Maltese waters.
The ship headed to Sicily, Italy where the patient was accepted for treatment yesterday morning.
MV Western Copenhagen, with 21 crew resumed her journey to Ukraine.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that the current Ebola outbreak has claimed 2,630 lives mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
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