Positive test results from crew members on board the Sofrana Surville support the hypothesis that the port worker reported by the Ministry of Health on Sunday could have been infected while working on board.
The Sofrana Surville had travelled from Papua New Guinea to Solomon Islands to Brisbane to Tauranga to Auckland, where eight crew joined it from the Philippines on October 13.
The worker was on board the Sofrana Surville on October 12 and 13 conducting maintenance work, while wearing personal protective equipment.
The specific genome sequence of the virus he has contracted has not been seen in New Zealand before.
The Sofrana Surville then travelled to Noumea and is now in Australia. Authorities in Australia have this afternoon confirmed that of the 19 crew members on board, three show evidence of a current or previous COVID-19 infection.
One person returned a negative PCR test and a positive serology test – indicating they have previously been infected with COVID-19, and are now recovered.
Another person appears to be at the end of a recent infection, returning a weak positive PCR test, and a positive serology test.
A third person returned a positive test with results indicating a mid-late current infection.
Australian authorities are carrying out whole genome sequencing on the positive cases which will help further determine if the infected crew members are the likely source of the port worker’s infection.
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