Live export ship crew brings virus to WA

Cheryl Sanders
May 29, 2020

Western Australia is dealing with a "fast-evolving" outbreak of coronavirus on a live export ship that docked at Fremantle Port last Friday.

A visibly troubled Mr McGowan said the situation was "serious news" that he hoped not to have to deliver.

The vessel brought more than 80 COVID-19 cases to WA, with four of them dying, and was docked at Fremantle Port for more than three weeks.

'We presume it is greater than likely even more crew members might end up being contaminated with the infection.

"I thought these kinds of situations were behind us".

A skeleton crew of 10 remains on board and they have been tested for COVID-19 while their 38 colleagues will be tested in hotel quarantine, including two crew members who had significant contact with the positive cases.

They have actually because been positioned right into seclusion in addition to their appropriate close calls.


The Al Kuwait arrived in Fremantle from the United Arab Emirates on Friday, 22 May, despite pre-arrival reports that crew members had elevated temperatures.

Littleproud said he had requested proof from his department that it had immediately alerted Western Australian health authorities, but had not yet received any proof.

'This was when the last clearance was given by the Commonwealth for the ship to berth.

"In particular, we need immediate improvements to communication and collaboration between agencies, including the Agriculture Department, Border Force, Health Department, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and port authorities".

"This is a live situation that we are working on with the Federal Government and the exporter", Mr McGowan said.

"A Fremantle Port worker, wearing (personal protective equipment), went onboard the ship on the 22nd to help steer her into a berth at the port as per the usual process".

"If an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs among the limited number of pilots in a port, or wharfies and other waterfront workers, the port would quickly grind to a halt, forcing all trade to stop completely".


'And now we locate ourselves in this circumstance, which we are functioning as swiftly as feasible to obtain to all-time low of.

Two federal government departments strongly disagreed with the Western Australian government's account of how the Kuwait-registered ship was permitted to dock.

But he also indicated there will be questions to answer over how the ship was allowed to enter the port.

All of these lamb are presently being kept in a barnyard in Baldivis and also will certainly not be able to return to ranch due to biosecurity guidelines.

Mr McGowan backtracked on Wednesday after it was revealed an email had been sent to the general inbox of WA's Public Health Emergency Operations Centre informing them of the crew members with high temperatures.

"We've flattened the curve of COVID-19, we have significantly reduced the community spread of the virus and our hospital system is now prepared".

The ship's subsidiary Rural Export & & Trading (RETWA) is based in West Perth.


Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER