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The crew were mostly Russians with others coming from Ukraine

COVID-19 crisis: 440 foreign fishermen in isolation, 110 are due to work on Sealord boats

Click on the flag for more information about New Zealand NEW ZEALAND
Thursday, October 22, 2020, 06:50 (GMT + 9)

Country’s biggest daily toll since spring linked to Russian and Ukrainian crew on flight

WELLINGTON - A number of fishing crew who flew into New Zealand on chartered planes have the coronavirus.

By last Tuesday the Health officials said  that 11 have tested positive so far and another 14 cases are being investigated.

The crew members have been in quarantine at a Christchurch hotel since they arrived, and tested positive during routine testing, officials said. The news could deal a blow to New Zealand’s efforts to restart its fishing industry, which has struggled to find local workers to crew vessels.

Jeremy Helson, the chief executive of Seafood New Zealand, said all the men tested negative before flying to New Zealand. “While we await to see how many cases there are, the fact that they were all detected in quarantine shows the system is working well,” Helson said in a statement.

The origin of the infected crew members wasn’t immediately clear, although a number of fishing crew have been arriving in New Zealand in recent days from Russia and Ukraine.

Today (Wednesday), the local newspaper New Zealand  Herald report that more fishermen have tested positive for Covid-19 after a number of cases at the Sudima Hotel in Christchurch.

Image: courtesy NZ Herald

A total of 18 from the group have tested positive, announced today by the Ministry of Health.

It follows the discovery yesterday that eleven of the fishermen had returned positive results, 14 other cases were under investigation.

They are among 440 fishers from Russia and the Ukraine, 270 of whom are due to go out on three Independent Fisheries boats next month.

Source: AP/ NZHerald

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