Cargo ship delivers new COVID cases to city
Two cargo ship crew members with COVID-19 have brought ashore for treatment in Townsville.
The crew from Globe Electra were transported ashore by Townsville water police vessel Brett Irwin overnight.
Emergency services dressed in hazmat suits were seen transferring the crew members into an ambulance.
It is understood the crew members will be treated at Townsville University Hospital. The two new cases increased the city's coronavirus cases to 30, although most have recovered.
A federal government source said there were concerns about the ship another Ruby Princess if all health procedures weren't adhered to.
They were also concerned the number of cases on the ship could be understated.
It is understood the state government was working closely with Border Force to make sure all precautions were taken.
All Globe Electra crew tested negative to COVID-19 before the ship left the Philippines however, two cases have now emerged.
The ship was moored at Hay Point on Thursday when a Mackay doctor in full personal protective equipment boarded the ship. All crew members remained on board while being tested.
Townsville GP Michael Clements said under maritime law there was an obligation to help the crew members.
He said there was no need for the community to be concerned about the ship anchoring off the coast of Townsville.
"I'd be relaxed about them coming, because Queensland Health are certainly ready, the hospital is ready, the training, the protocol and the equipment (is all in place)," Dr Clements said. "The protocols mean they're going to be able to move them from the ship to the hospital if they need to, or to quarantine."
Dr Clements said the health community had learnt from the Victorian outbreak that quarantine breaches were a top priority. "We know so much more now about how to manage this, I think it would be very low risk … if they come and they need care," he said.
This comes as 12 Townsville healthcare workers left for Melbourne to assist struggling hospitals amid the outbreak in Victoria.
Originally published as Cargo ship delivers new COVID cases to city