Shocking New Coronavirus Outbreak on Ship Raises New Questions about COVID-19

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Image by National Geographic

A new coronavirus outbreak is being reported by nearly every other country after the end of nationwide lockdowns last month. Scientists state that reopening businesses and workplaces were expected to lead to an increase in new infections. However, a surge in cases from Argentia has left the medical community shocked.

The country of Argentina has reported a mysterious rise in the number of coronavirus infection cases on a ship that has been away in the middle of the sea on the southernmost province of Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia for a time period of longer than thirty-five days.

Prior to sailing, all of the sailors were tested for coronavirus only allowed to board if they tested negative. The reports from all the sailors who did join the ship were clear.

Therefore, scientists are unable to trace the coronavirus outbreak on the ship as none of the crew members had the infection initially. The ship had a total of sixty-one crew members.

Around fifty-seven of these crew members who joined the Etchizen Maru fishing trawler now have the coronavirus infection. Two of the remaining members are waiting for the results while the other two did not contract the virus.

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The people onboard were suspected to have the infection last week. On Saturday, nearly seven of them tested positive for the infection. According to local authorities, the ship had been in the sea and did not have any kind of contact for over a month.

All of the crew members were required to undergo testing and self-isolate for a time period of two weeks before joining the ship. Usually, this would mean there are no chances of the spread of the virus as no people on the ship had it and there was no chance of contact with the rest of the world.

The chief of Infectology of the Ushuaia Regional Hospital, Leandro Ballatore, who is also a  member of the provincial Emergency Operating Committee, explained “The crew of the ship had 14 days of isolation in a hotel in Ushuaia, during which we believe they had no contact with people from the city and then they were sailing for 35 days,”

Ballatore further added that the crew members had to undergo another swab test for coronavirus in Buenos Aires as per the policies of their recruitment company. The results of this test were also negative.

While staying in Ushuaia, the crew members also did not come into contact with any infected people as there are no active cases in the province.

Two of the crew members who tested positive for the infection are admitted to hospitals due to the risk of coronavirus complications. The rest of the members are currently self-isolating on the ship.

To trace the new coronavirus outbreak on the ship, an investigation will be started very soon. The only explanation for the surge is that one of the members was infected but the nasal swab test gave a false negative.

Since the ship followed all guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus spread, the transmission was slow and the infected member was surely asymptomatic.

 

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