Ship crew at Paradip port in Odisha test positive for COVID-19

The cargo vessel arrived from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, where most of the affected crew reside.

By Ashis Senapati
Published: Tuesday 30 March 2021

As many as 14 crew members of a ship at Odisha's Paradip port tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) March 28, 2021. 

The cargo coastal ship Apj Kais reached the port in Paradip, Jagatsinghpur district March 27 from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. Most of the affected crew are residents of the southern state.

“We found COVID-19 symptoms in some crew members of the vessel during the mandatory daily health checkup. So, all the 28 members were tested and 14 were found with the infection on Sunday,” said Dr Rajendra Narayan Panigrahi, health officer, Paradip port.

The patients have been moved to Bhubaneswar for treatment and other members of the crew have been quarantined, he added. The ship has been sanitised, said the officer.

A help desk has been set up at Paradip to detect members of other ship crews who might have the infection. Healthcare assistants will screen crew members of every ship on arrival, added Dr Panigrahi.  

The Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways had last year prescribed a detailed standard operation procedure (SOP) for controlled crew change at Indian ports and anchorages. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had also issued an SOP April 21, 2020 to permit movement of persons at Indian ports.

Paradip port has been following the above guidelines, said Panigrahi. The authorities are dealing with the case as per prescribed protocol which are similar to the quarantine procedures of migrant workers, he added.

“Sanitisation inside prohibited areas, social distancing, thermal scanning, hand sanitisation, use of masks inside prohibited areas and offices have been strictly enforced. All precautions are being taken and people should not fall prey to rumours and panic,” the health officer said.

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