Test results confirm further COVID-19 cases aboard quarantined container ship

Nine crew members onboard the Mattina container ship have now tested positive for COVID-19.

A total of 9 crew members onboard the Mattina container ship, currently in quarantine in Bluff, have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel came into port on Sunday night and all 21 crew members were tested yesterday morning after 2 crew members initially reported having symptoms.

Following confirmation yesterday afternoon of the first 2 cases, all additional results came back late last night, confirming a further 7 cases of COVID-19 aboard the ship.

Health officials have determined that the only local port member who had contact with the ship crew is the Southport pilot, who went aboard the ship as it entered the port.

Pilots are required to board vessels of this size when berthing. The pilot wore appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and was fully vaccinated.

No one else has been on or off the ship since it docked. Yesterday morning’s testing for COVID-19 took place on the gangway area and all appropriate protocols were followed by health staff, including PPE.

Health officials in Southern District Health Board (DHB) are working with other agencies to determine the next steps for the ship. In the meantime, the crew members remain on board the Mattina.

The Mattina remains in quarantine in a secure area of the port which is inaccessible to members of the public and fencing will be put up to further restrict access to the ship.