Two crew of bulk carrier found infected with virus at Chennai UPDATE test negative

UPDATE: According to latest news, samples tested coronavirus negative, cargo probably, will be offloaded. Understood two virus suspect crew are kept on board, isolated from other crew. The ship meanwhile, seems to be still in a quarantine or lockdown. Hopefully, it’s a happy end, though it’s really difficult to follow development and separate confirmed info from rumors.

Bulk carrier MAGNATE with 19 crew on board arrived at Chennai, eastern coast of India, on Feb 18, from Shanghai, reportedly with cargo of steel. The ship was berthed, and boarded by medics, alerted understood, in advance, on presence of two sick crew, with virus-like symptoms of fever and flu. 2 sick seamen were isolated and checked, both tested coronavirus positive. They’ve been taken to hospital, the rest of the crew are isolated in superstructure, the ship is fenced off at shore side, so that no docker or other port personnel would mistakenly blunder in and approach the ship. It is to be decided yet, whether to offload the ship, or send her back to China with all cargo remaining on board.
Fears spread further, and it was said, that workers refuse to offload cars from car carrier GLOVIS SKY, berthed next to unfortunate MAGNATE.
What’s more scary – coronavirus, or panic virus?
Bulk carrier MAGNATE, IMO 9320269, dwt 18828, built 2004, flag Panama, manager WISDOM MARINE LINES SA, Taiwan.

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.