It is understood all crew tested negative to COVID-19 before the ship left the Philippines, however one or two positive tests were confirmed in the past 24 hours.
It is understood all crew tested negative to COVID-19 before the ship left the Philippines, however one or two positive tests were confirmed in the past 24 hours.

Ship travels north after positive COVID tests at Abbot Point

UPDATE 4.45PM: Two crew members aboard a ship moored off Mackay's coast have been taken to Townsville University Hospital for treatment after testing positive to coronavirus, Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert says.

It's understood all crew tested negative to COVID-19 before the ship left China, however two people have tested positive in the past 24 hours.

The ship was anchored offshore from Abbot Point yesterday when a Mackay doctor in full personal protective equipment boarded, however the ship has since been ordered to travel to Townsville.

Mrs Gilbert said the two crew members who tested positive would receive medical care at the Townsville hospital.

She said the rest of the crew had tested negative at this stage.

It's understood the remaining crew will stay on the ship, which will be moored off Townsville's coast. 

"Queensland Health is moving swiftly to make sure everybody is kept safe and that there will be no transmission," Mrs Gilbert said.

"They will give care to the crew that is needed so that they can recover from the virus.

"There is no expected community transmission because all procedures were followed and there shouldn't be any concern."

She said anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should get tested for coronavirus.

Those feeling ill should stay at home while they await test results.

Dawson MP George Christensen said the Mackay, Whitsunday and Townsville communities should not be alarmed by the new cases.

"I don't think there's anything for people to worry about," Mr Christensen said.

"These people, as far as I understand, haven't left the ship in the Mackay region.

"When they are taken off the boat in Townsville, my understanding is the processes are extremely tight so that there's no contamination with anyone who comes in contact with them." 

An Abbot Point Operations spokesperson confirmed the ship had been anchored offshore rather than mooring at Abbot Point.

"A ship that travelled from the Philippines has been prevented from berthing at Abbot Point in North Queensland after the ship reported a crew member had symptoms similar to COVID-19," they said.

"Doctors appointed by Queensland Health flew to the ship on Wednesday to test crew members for COVID-19.

"The ship will continue to be held at anchor offshore until the test results are known and Queensland Health and the Regional Harbor Master give directions as to further actions that should be taken by the port operations.

"The ship, the Globe Electra, left Manilla on July 27."
 

EARLIER: Two crew members aboard a ship moored off Mackay's coast have reportedly tested positive to coronavirus.

The crew boarded a bulk carrier ship in China, headed for Australia, and stopped in the Philippines enroute.

It is understood all crew tested negative to COVID-19 before the ship left China, however two people have tested positive in the past 24 hours.

The ship was anchored offshore near Abbot Point yesterday when a Mackay doctor in full personal protective equipment boarded the ship.

It is understood the boat will be taken to Townsville.

All crew members remained on board the ship while being tested and are expected to remain there, unless they require hospitalisation.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said it was a “very good outcome” for the community if the ship was taken to Townsville. Picture: Heidi Petith
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said it was a “very good outcome” for the community if the ship was taken to Townsville. Picture: Heidi Petith

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said it was a "very good outcome" for the community if the ship was taken to Townsville.

He said the community remained protected as none of the crew members left the ship.

"I'm very happy with the procedures that have been followed to protect the community," he said.

Queensland Health has confirmed the cases on the ship were among three new confirmed positive coronavirus cases in the state today.

One of the three was a man in his 30s who tested positive while in hotel quarantine after returning home from Sydney, the department said. The man remains in hotel quarantine.

"The second and third cases relate to crew onboard a cargo vessel off the coast of Queensland," the statement said.

"They are likely to be transferred to shore soon and admitted to Townsville University Hospital.

"All other crew from the vessel have been tested and are confirmed negative."

The total number of active coronavirus cases in Queensland now stands at eight – down from nine yesterday – with more than 716,420 tests conducted. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
The total number of active coronavirus cases in Queensland now stands at eight – down from nine yesterday – with more than 716,420 tests conducted. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

It comes just three weeks after another person located on a cargo ship also contracted the virus.

It is unknown if these are from the same vessel.

The total number of active coronavirus cases in Queensland now stands at eight - down from nine yesterday - with more than 716,420 tests conducted.

Since the outbreak began, the state has recorded 1089 cases with six deaths. Currently there are four people in hospital, but none of those are in intensive care.