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Bulker Quarantined in Chennai in Coronavirus Scare

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Port of Chennai (file image)

By The Maritime Executive 02-19-2020 09:48:00

In an example of the delays for shipping caused by the coronavirus epidemic, a bulker was briefly quarantined at Chennai when two Chinese crewmembers displayed symptoms of a mild fever. The incident received national press coverage. 

The bulker in question, the Magnate, arrived in Chennai on February 18. She had called at Chinese ports but had completed a mandatory 14-day minimum waiting period for arrivals from China before berthing. After she docked, the port's health team boarded the vessel and conducted examinations of all crewmembers. Two individuals displayed symptoms of mild fever, and they were transferred to isolation to keep them separate from the rest of the crew. 

The ship was locked down in quarantine, with no access from the shore side and a prohibition against disembarkation, according to Chennai Port Trust. 

On Wednesday, public health team returned to obtain blood samples from the crew. The samples were sent to Kings Institute of Preventive Medicine at Guindy, and the results came back negative on Wednesday night, according to Business Line India. The hold on the vessel was lifted and she will be allowed to unload her cargo, but health officials will continue to monitor the crew until her departure. 

The 2004-built Magnate is a 12,000 dwt geared bulker flagged in Panama. She is Taiwanese-owned and operated.