June 29, 2020 7:26:28 pm
Two Filipinos and two Indians, including the Captain of a ship, were among those who tested positive for coronavirus at the Alang ship-breaking yard in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on Monday. The two foreign nationals were among the 14 member crew who had beached a vessel “MV Jakarta” on Saturday at Alang and were immediately quarantined after disembarkation.
Apart from these two foreign nationals, two Indians including the captain of the ship also tested positive, officials said.
Ever since Alang ship-breaking yard restarted after the lockdown, the district administration has laid out a procedure where the crew of vessels coming to the beach at the yard to be dismantled are quarantined in a special facility set up at a hotel in Bhavnagar about 50 kms from Alang.
The vessel had beached on plot number 134 belonging to Mahavir Steel.
“The crew of the ship was quarantined at a paid quarantine facility at a hotel in Bhavnagar and the samples were taken on Sunday evening,” Gaurang Makwana, Bhavnagar District Collector told The Indian Express.
The two foreign nationals opted to be isolated at their hotel rooms and picked a home quarantine package by local hospitals in Bhavnagar. “Private doctors will be supervising them regularly through video calling and medicines will be sent to them,” the DC added.
This is not, however, the first positive case to be reported from Alang. A couple of weeks ago, a Goan resident had tested positive, the official said.
“There is a procedure that we follow for all those who come on-board ships at Alang. They are not allowed to mix with any workers on the plot. They are isolated and brought to the hospital where samples of all the crew is taken. Two hotels, which are paid quarantine facilities, have been kept dedicated for Alang,” Makwana added.
Thought most of the workers at Alang have returned home, no cases have been reported among the workers.
“The plots that reopened at Alang after the lockdown have continued to function despite having just 30 percent of the total workforce,” said Haresh Parmar, a ship breaker and secretary of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA).
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