4 held in Rennell

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Coronavirus. Photo by Medical News Today
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Asians quarantined in mining operation in Renbel province suspected of China corona virus

BY BARNABAS MANEBONA and ALFRED PAGEPITU

FOUR men are being held in isolation in Rennell suspected of having the China coronavirus, it is reported.

Reports reaching Island Sun on the ground say the four men display flu-like symptoms; “Fever, cough and headache.”

Personnel from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services are said to be heading over to Rennell today to check these four men.

A local doctor close to the issue, speaking to Island Sun on anonymity, says samples of body fluid and other specimens will be taken from these four men and sent overseas for analysis.

The doctor cautions that at this stage it cannot be confirmed that the men have the China coronavirus, this status will be confirmed only when results are sent back.

According to a press statement by the mining company whose operation in Rennell has seen this occurrence, Bintan Mining SI Ltd (BMSI), the ship came here from Qimudao, Shandong Province, China.

“A chartered vessel, MV Expert whose local agent is Tradco shipping limited was chartered to load Bauxite at Renell mining operations.

“The vessel departs Qimudao, Shandong Province, China on 17 January 2020 with total of 25 crews and officers on board.

“The vessel was cleared via Noro port on 30 January 2020. Four crews of the vessel have fever as of February 1st, 2020 that we are concerned that it may be related to Corona virus.”

The BMSI also adds that the four men and “the ship” are being quarantined.

However, sharing concerns on social media, public feel that the whole crew of the ship should be quarantined given the fact that the coronavirus takes a couple of days before displaying symptoms and that the crew including the four suspects have been travelling together the past two weeks.

One comments, “Given their interactions as a crew of the one and same ship for two weeks in their journey to the Solomon Islands, there is the possibility that other crew members may have contracted the virus, if it is truly the feared coronavirus.

“So the health ministry experts going over there should check the whole crew. Do not be complacent, this is serious.”

Island Sun understands that there are some factors that may contribute to the men’s condition which are independent from the China coronavirus, according to accounts by BMSI and Dr Pedical Togamae, that the crew had been working under rainy conditions the day they arrived, before the men fell ill, and that they had travelled across a climate gradient (from the winter in China to the tropical Solomon Islands).

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