Sydney, Australia, Jul 13 (EFE).- Fifteen crew members of a Spanish-flagged fishing vessel docked in Wellington have tested positive for Covid-19, one of them for the highly contagious Delta variant, New Zealand authorities reported on Tuesday.
All the infected crew members of the Viking Bay, which arrived in the country last week, have been transferred to an onshore quarantine center in Wellington, the New Zealand health ministry said in a statement.
The remaining five crew members have tested negative for the virus so far, which has allowed them to remain on board the quarantined ship, with additional testing to be carried out in the coming days.
More than half of the fishing boat’s crew have been at sea since February, while nine members had arrived in New Zealand on July 5 for the Viking Bay’s scheduled crew change, according to the ministry.
On July 6, New Zealand authorities confirmed that two of the vessel’s crew members, out of the nine who had arrived in Auckland, had tested positive for Covid-19, including one for the Delta strain.
New Zealand, the government of which has been praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic thanks to its strategy of brief and localized lockdowns, recorded 18 Covid-19 cases on Monday, including 13 aboard the Viking Bay. Two cases on the ship had previously been reported as confirmed with the virus.
No link has been shown between the Delta case and any other cases previously identified in New Zealand, and genome sequencing of the 13 positive test results was to begin Tuesday, the health ministry said.
The country has registered a total of 2,430 infections, with 26 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. EFE