THE Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre is closely watching a Norwegian-registered ship anchored off Songkhla province which has been declared a hospital at sea after six of 29 crew members were found to have been infected with Covid-19, Siam Rath newspaper said this morning (May 16).
Rear Admiral Pokhrong Monthadpalin, the centre’s spokesman, said the ship, BOA Deep C, left India on May 1 and after passing Singapore arrived at Songkhla’s Chao Phraya Universal Deep Sea Port on May 11 at approximately 8 a.m.
Port Authority of Thailand’s officials checked the ship’s papers and tested the crew for coronavirus.
At 5 p.m. the ship sailed to Chonburi. But at 10 p.m. when the swab test results showed that six crew members, two Ukrainians, two Poles, one Indian and one Russian, had been infected with coronavirus, it was told to return to Songkhla and anchor at the quarantine stop off Koh Noo.
The ship’s captain has been forbidden from dropping off his crew either at a platform or any other Thai port. However if he intends to return to the country of origin he need only notify the Thai authorities and proceed.
Songkhla health office has designated BOA Deep C vessel a hospital at sea with all its crew being foreigners and those infected asymptomatic. They have been separated into infected and non-infected zones and their symptoms are being observed every day.
The Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre’s Region 2 unit based in Songkhla province has arranged for boats to go out and inspect the ship and make sure people and goods are not transferred back and forth to other ships.
The BOA Deep C anchored off Songkhla province’s Koh Noo island and the crew being tested. Photos: Siam Rath