Barge crew swab tests needed before disembarkment

Thursday 26 November 2020 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Local, National

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Barge crew swab tests needed before disembarkment
The MV Taunga Nui, recently acquired by Cook Islands General Transport. (PHOTO: MIKE W @ marinetraffic.com) 20112525

MV Taunga Nui crew members will be required to stay on board the barge while Te Marae Ora takes swab tests.

The barge, owned by Cook Islands General Transport has eight crew members.

The vessel was expected to arrive today, but the anticipated estimated time of arrival of the barge was rescheduled and yet to be confirmed when this article went to print.

Health spokesperson Jaewynn McKay says the crew will be required to stay on board the barge while the tests are processed.

She said: “Once the tests come back negative they can disembark. The processing of the tests usually takes a couple of hours.”

McKay confirmed that at this stage they will not be required to undertake supervised quarantine as they were tested within 96 hours of leaving Brisbane.

She said by the time they arrive they would have been at sea for 14 days.

“Te Marae Ora has been checking in regularly in regards to the health of the crew; who are reportedly in good health, none have developed any Covid-like symptoms while at sea. The barge has sailed directly from Brisbane to Rarotonga.”

Principal Immigration Officer Kairangi Samuela further advised that there are no passengers onboard the barge and the crew members include seven Fiji nationals and a New Zealand national.

Samuela said they have received the negative Covid results for all crew dated October 28, 2020 completed on their arrival into Australia, and negative test results for all crew members dated November 7 within the 96 hours while in 14-day quarantine. 

She added that the crew went directly to the barge from their quarantine hotel departing Brisbane, Australia on Friday November 13.