TUTICORIN: A 44-year-old engineer from the Philippines, who sailed from South Africa in a cargo vessel where he works was hospitalised after testing positive for Covid-19.
The engineer Honbilla Anthony Oberiano was among the 29 crew members, including 25 Indians, another Filipino, a Serbian and a Hellenic on board the cargo vessel MV MSC MILA that reached Tuticorin on Wednesday.
An official at the Tuticorin Port said that the master of the ship had mailed the port authorities on Tuesday seeking medical assistance for a crew member for malaria.
On reaching Tuticorin, an onboard inspection was conducted by port health officials and samples were collected from the said crew member from the Philippines.
RTPCR test in a private facility showed he was positive late in the night.
At 1 am on Thursday he was admitted to Thoothukudi government medical college hospital.
The hospital dean C Revathy Balan said that the engineer had travelled to Tuticorin in a cargo ship that had been to South Africa earlier this month.
Officials from the Tuticorin port got him tested as he had shown symptoms. The dean said his vitals are stable though the CT scan showed infiltrations.
Results are awaited for the inflammatory markers, she said and added that he is being closely monitored.
A source from the hospital said that he will be tested if he is infected by the new variant.
Employees in the ship are being monitored.
Meanwhile, the ship sailed from Tuticorin on Thursday morning.
Health officials instructed the ship authorities to constantly keep port health officials updated on the status of other crew members.
A port official said that workers level awareness was conducted on the ship.
Asking the ship to keep their gym and other recreation centres closed for 14 days – till April 7 – those on board were also asked to maintain social distance and that those serving food should wear PPE kits to avoid a possible spread.