MONTEVIDEO – Ten crew members of a United Kingdom-flagged fishing vessel in Uruguay’s Port of Montevideo who had remained on board after testing positive for the coronavirus received a negative result on Friday.
That news was communicated to EFE by sources with Uruguay’s Foreign Fishing Vessels Agents Chamber (CAPE) following a second batch of swab tests.
The latest tests showed the number of infected individuals among the 54-member crew of the Argos Pereira had fallen to 18, a figure that includes a Peruvian man who on Monday had to be transferred to a hospital in the Uruguayan capital.
EFE learned that he was making good progress in his recovery and that three other crew members affected by COVID-19 have mild symptoms.
Separately, the CAPE said it decided in conjunction with authorities from Uruguay’s Public Health Ministry to bring 14 more crew members onshore. They include some of the individuals who tested negative on Friday and other crew members who had not been infected but still were required to remain on board.
It also said more than a dozen other crew members who are currently staying at a Montevideo hotel will remain in quarantine until the fishing vessel resumes its voyage.
“Next week, between Tuesday and Wednesday, a new round of swab tests will be conducted on the crew remaining on the vessel,” after which a determination will be made on next steps, the CAPE said.
That chamber said that when the results of next week’s swab tests are known, a decision on how to proceed will be made with the Public Health Ministry and the company that owns the vessel.
The Argos Pereira arrived on Feb. 11 in Montevideo from Las Palmas, the biggest city in Spain’s Canary Islands.
The boat left Spain on Jan. 24 bound for Stanley – the capital of the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory – after tests conducted on its 54 crew members from Spain, Peru, Senegal and Indonesia all came back negative.
After sailing for 18 days toward the South Atlantic, the boat made a fuel stop in Uruguay.
In compliance with the Port of Montevideo’s requirements, the crew members underwent fresh testing that showed 28 of them were infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
After that result, 13 of the non-infected crew members were evacuated from the boat on Feb. 14 and lodged in a Montevideo hotel. Thirteen others who tested negative had to remain on board due to minimum-crew requirements for the vessel’s maintenance.