57 of 61 crew members of an Argentine fishing boat have tested positive for Covid19 after being at sea for 35 days, Tierra del Fuego Province’s Health Ministry reported today. The vessel was forced to return to port after crew members began showing symptoms of the virus.
All crew members remain isolated on the ship, the Etchizen Maru, and have not been allowed to disembark. Medical personnel are boarding the ship to treat the patients.
Officials are at a loss to explain the infections as prior to setting sail all of the crew members had quarantined for 14 days at a hotel in Ushuaia. All had also tested negative for Covid19.
“It is difficult to establish how the contagion of this crew was, since in these 35 days they have not had contact with land and the supply is made only when leaving the port of Ushuaia,” said Alejandra Alfaro, the director of the province’s Atención Temprana de Salud centre.
“It is a case that escapes all the description that appears in the publications, because such a long incubation period is not described anywhere,” said Leandro Ballatore, chief of infectology at the Ushuaia Regional Hospital.
Photo by David Stanley