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Seven more crew onboard container ship at Bluff test positive for Covid-19

Seven more crew members onboard the Mattina container ship, currently in quarantine in Bluff, have now tested positive for Covid-19, this Ministry of Health has confirmed.

Container ship Mattina docked at South Port in Bluff. Source: 1 NEWS

There are currently nine cases linked to the vessel after two were announced yesterday.

The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel came into port on Sunday night and all 21 crew members were tested yesterday morning after two crew members initially reported having virus symptoms.

All crew remain on the ship as health officials from Southern DHB work with other agencies to determine the next steps, the ministry said.

"The Mattina remains in quarantine in a secure area of the port which is inaccessible to members of the public and fencing will be put up to further restrict access to the ship."

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The Mattina arrived into port on Sunday night. Source: 1 NEWS

Health officials said a Southport pilot went aboard the ship as it entered the port. The pilot wore appropriate PPE and was fully vaccinated. No one else has been on or off the ship since it docked.

It comes after the Playa Zahara shipping vessel with 16 Covid-positive cases onboard docked in Lyttelton Port yesterday. Thirteen of the Covid-positive crew members have since been transported to a quarantine facility in Christchurch. Five others are remaining aboard to maintain basic functions of the vessel.

A further 16 Covid-positive crew members onboard the Viking Bay fishing vessel were also transferred to quarantine facilities in Wellington. Thirteen of the cases tested positive for the more contagious Delta variant.