OPAGAC has already organized four crew relief expeditions since last April
Wednesday, July 01, 2020, 00:10 (GMT + 9)
The fleet has already organized four crew relief expeditions since last April that have allowed the replacement of 1,000 sailors
• This week all the crew of the fleet will undergo new PCR tests to determine possible false positives
The Spanish tuna fleet, grouped in OPAGAC (Organization of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers)
is working closely with the Seychelles health authorities to ensure the health of the crews, following positive cases by COVID-19 that affect 59 crew members , from Ivory Coast and Senegal, from ships associated with this organization, and 11 more from another company that operates in these Indian waters.
OPAGAC is scrupulously following the protocol it developed in the face of possible contagion and which is part of its crew relief plan, which has allowed, since last April, to replace nearly 1,000 sailors in four expeditions that have required complex logistics .
According to Julio Morón, managing director of OPAGAC, “since we started this relay operation, we were aware of the risk of possible contagions that we assumed, given the diverse origins of origin of our sailors. For this reason, in collaboration with the Government of Seychelles, we have developed a rigorous action protocol in the face of this circumstance, which is the one we are following now. Our fleet, Morón concludes, is clear that, above all other considerations, the most important thing is to ensure the health and the best working and protection conditions for our workers, and that is what we are doing. ”
According to this protocol, all the crew members underwent PCR tests in their countries of origin to comply with quarantine periods if positive results were detected. Subsequently, and once the crew arrived in Seychelles, they underwent rapid tests, at which time the first positives were detected. Since then, and in collaboration with the Seychelles health authorities, additional tests have been carried out, which have led to the positive cases that are currently known.
ccording to OPAGAC reports, most of the detected cases are asymptomatic and the affected people are isolated from their peers and under observation. Likewise and in collaboration with the Seychelles authorities, this week a second round of PCR tests will be carried out on all crew members to determine if there have been possible problems in the tests carried out, due to false positives or false negatives in source PCR tests.
The entire fleet grouped in OPAGAC is equipped with the necessary protection equipment (EPIS, masks, hygienic gel and disinfection equipment) and detection (rapid tests) and the organization, in addition to the Seychelles Government, is also working closely with the doctor distinguished in that country by the Social Institute of the Navy (ISM). Likewise, OPAGAC keeps the Government of Spain informed of the evolution of this situation.
Finally, it should be noted that the OPAGAC companies will continue to work with the authorities in the countries of origin and destination of their crew to ensure that the movement of seafarers does not pose any health risk both in those countries and on ships in the that carry out their activity.