Foreign vessel with Covid-infected crew anchored off Songkhla

Foreign vessel with Covid-infected crew anchored off Songkhla

SONGKHLA: The "Boa Deep C", a Norwegian-flagged offshore support vessel carrying six crewmen infected with Covid-19, has been ordered to stay anchored off Ko Nu island in this southern province, Rear Admiral Pokkrong Monthatphalin said on Saturday.

R/Adm Pokkrong, the spokesman for the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre (Thai-MECC), said the vessel had been anchored off Ko Nu island since May 12 as ordered by the marine office of Songkhla.

According to a report given to Thai-MECC Region 2 by Santi Raksap, an official at the international disease control office of the Songkhla Deep Sea Port, the Boa Deep C departed from India on May 1 with 29 crewmen on board. 

After a stopoff in Singapore, the vessel arrived at the Port of Songkhla in Singha Nakhon district on May 11 at about 8am.

On its arrival, officials from the Port of Songkhla examined all the vessel's documents and gave the crew Covid-19 swab tests.

At about 5pm on the same day, the vessel departed for Sattahip, Chon Buri.

At about 10pm, the swab tests showed six of the crew had Covid-19 -- two each from Ukraine and Poland and one each from India and Russia.

The marine office in Songkhla immediately ordered the Boa Deep C to return to the southern port. On arrival the next day,  it was ordered to anchor near Ko Nu island off Songkhla until further notice. The vessel was prohibited from letting any crew members travel to an oil platform or any sea ports in the country.

The vessel was turned to be a field hospital, where the infected -- none yet seriously ill -- were separated from those who had tested negative for Covid-19.  

R/Adm Pokkrong said that if the vessel's captain wanted to return to its country of origin, it could do so after informing Thai-MECC.

The maritime enforcement centre had instructed its office in Songkhla to send patrol boats out to the area around Ko Nu island to make sure no people or goods embarked or disembarked. 

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