Five crew members of a shipping vessel test positive for covid while in Goan waters

* Samples sent to Pune for genome sequencing in view of Omicron scare

Goemkarponn desk

PANAJI: Five crew members from a shipping vessel that had arrived in Goan waters on Nov 18 have tested positive for covid.
In view of the Omicron threat, samples of all five patients have been sent for genome sequencing at National Center for Cell Science Lab, Pune. “We have taken them as a suspect for omicron and isolated them,” informed State Epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar.
He added that reports of the Pune lab are expected by Wednesday or Thursday.
Three of those who have tested positive are from Russia, while the other two are from Georgia. Three crew members have been isolated at PHC Cansaulim, the designated isolation facility for the state, while others are still on board the ship for the completion of formalities. The mineral carrying vessel, which left Cape Town on Oct 31, arrived in Goa on Nov 18.
Two Russians entered the ship on Nov 23 and one of them became symptomatic on Nov 29. Following this all 21crew members on board the ship were also tested for covid and more were also found positive for covid. As their last contact with Russia was on Nov 21, samples of all the five patients have been sent to Pune for genome sequencing to check if any of them have been infected with the omicron variant of covid. “Further course of action will be decided once the reports come,” informed Dr Utkarsh.


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