Bunker tanker NewOcean 6 to temporarily cease operations after COVID-19 cases reported on board: MPA

Bunker tanker NewOcean 6 to temporarily cease operations after COVID-19 cases reported on board: MPA

bunker tanker NewOcean 6
The bunker tanker NewOcean 6 is now a COVID-19 cluster, with nine cases linked. (Photo: VesselFinder.com/Abaco20)

SINGAPORE: The bunker tanker NewOcean 6 has been quarantined and will cease all operations until further notice after nine COVID-19 cases were linked to it, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Wednesday (Jan 6). 

The bunker tanker, operated by Palmstone Tankers & Trdg, will need to review all its procedures before it is allowed to resume operations, said MPA in a statement. 

Bunker tankers are a type of harbourcraft that provide essential marine services such as the refuelling of ships calling at Singapore. 

"As of Jan 5, 2021, there are nine identified COVID-19 cases connected to a bunker tanker NewOcean 6," said MPA. 

The first case, case 58812, was an Indonesian crew member who tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Dec 30, 2020 after arriving in Singapore on Dec 17.

READ: 2 COVID-19 cases in marine sector may have breached safety measures; action taken against employer

MPA said all crew members arriving from overseas to work on board harbourcrafts have to go through 14 days of quarantine. They must also be tested negative for COVID-19 infection at the start and end of their quarantine period in their home country. 

They are tested again upon arrival in Singapore and need to self-isolate in a room until their test results are known, before boarding the harbourcraft. 

The Indonesian crew member tested negative on Dec 1, Dec 6 and Dec 17, said MPA. 

He started work on the bunker tanker after his test result on Dec 17 returned negative for the virus. 

MPA said all the remaining 13 crew members were quarantined from Dec 31. 

Following case 58812, eight other Indonesian crew members and a Singaporean crew member were reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to have tested positive for COVID-19 infection. 

"The foreign crew members on board the bunker tanker did not disembark prior to being tested positive," said MPA. 

The Singaporean crew member is a cargo officer who certifies bunker delivery on board the vessel. He was one of the two community COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday night. 

The cargo officer was on board NewOcean 6 from Dec 21 to Dec 23 and from Dec 28 to Jan 2, said MOH in its daily report on Tuesday. 

MPA said in view of the COVID-19 cases on board of NewOcean 6, it has been quarantined and will cease all operations until further notice. 

The authority also reminded owners and operators of harbourcraft to implement and comply with safe management measures aboard vessels. 

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: CNA/lk(hs)

Bookmark