More COVID Tests for Infected Ship Off Queensland

Queensland health officials are expected to perform more COVID-19 tests on the infected crew of a cargo ship near Brisbane amid fears they could carry a mystery strain of the virus. Two crew members aboard the MV Sofrana Surville were diagnosed with coronavirus after the vessel anchored off Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the New Zealand government had asked Queensland Health to undertake genomic sequencing of the suspected new virus strain. “The initial tests only provide a positive or negative result,” he said on Oct 22. The freighter and its crew of 19 were blocked from docking in Brisbane after New Zealand authorities alerted Australian officials the vessel’s crew could be infected with a mutated COVID-19 strain. The Sofrana left New Zealand earlier in the month with fresh crew from the Philippines before stopping at Noumea in New Caledonia. It then sailed for Brisbane. An …