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Jakarta Post

26 crewmen onboard KM Lambelu test positive for COVID-19 in Makassar

  • Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

Makassar   /   Mon, April 13, 2020   /   03:27 pm
26 crewmen onboard KM Lambelu test positive for COVID-19 in Makassar The medical team evacuated a foreign national infected with the corona virus (COVID-19) off the ship during a simulation of handling the Corona virus at the Port of Sukarno Hatta, Makassar, South Sulawesi, Tuesday (10/3/2020). The simulation is a form of anticipating the spread and at the same time training the preparedness of the port authority health team in dealing with foreigners infected with the Corona virus (COVID-19). (Antara/Abriawan Abhe)

The South Sulawesi Health Agency confirmed on Sunday that 26 out of 42 crew members of KM Lambelu had tested positive for COVID-19 after undertaking swab tests in the provincial capital of Makassar.

The health agency's head, Ichsan Mustari, announced the test results through a video conference on Sunday evening.

“From the first stage of swab testing conducted for the 42 crew members being quarantined off the coast of Makassar, the result shows that 26 people are positive while the remaining 16 are negative,” he said.

The second wave of the swab tests was scheduled for Monday, in which 99 other crew members of the vessel, owned by state ship operator PT Pelni, were set to be examined.

The ship arrived in Makassar on Friday after sailing from Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara, with 141 people on board.  

KM Lambelu had carried a total of 238 passengers and it was not allowed to dock at Lorens Say Port in Maumere last week by Sikka regent Fransiskus Roberto Diogo, as three people on board the vessel had reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

Health authorities in Sikka regency took all the passengers into quarantine on Tuesday and conducted rapid tests. The ship then headed to Makassar as some passengers had tested positive.

The ship is currently being quarantined about 2 nautical miles off Makassar’s Soekarno-Hatta Port. People on board the ship have yet to embark.

“The swab tests were conducted on board the ship, with KM Lambelu to sail to the port and return to its quarantine position once the tests are done,” Ichsan said.

Read also: Concerns rise over importing COVID-19 as hundreds of Indonesian crewmen come home

Ichsan added that the crew members who tested positive were isolated on the ship, under tight monitoring by health authorities who also provided the crewmen with masks, medicines and hand sanitizer. The crew members were also given food supplies.

“No one disembarked from the ship, regardless of whether they tested positive or negative. They are isolated onboard so residents of [Makassar] should not worry about it,” he said.

On Sunday, South Sulawesi recorded 18 new cases of COVID-19, excluding those on KM Lambelu, bringing the tally of new cases to 44 in the province.

At least 222 people have so far tested positive in South Sulawesi, which had also reported 16 fatalities linked to the contagious virus as of Sunday. Thirty people have recovered, while 382 people are currently patients under surveillance (PDP).

Of the 382 PDP, 125 have recovered and 30 have died. The province has 2,672 people under monitoring (ODP) suspected of having been infected by the virus.

According to the government's official count as of Sunday, the number of infected people in Indonesia has reached 4,241, with 373 fatalities recorded nationwide. (asp)