Ship anchored off the coast of Maranhão was placed in quarantine on Saturday (15) by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), after one of the crew members was diagnosed with covid-19. The 54-year-old man is from India and is admitted to a hospital in the city of São Luís.
According to the State Department of Health (SES), the crew of the ship “MV SHANDONG DA ZHI” began to show symptoms on May 4, but was only hospitalized on the 13th. Experts fear that the infection may have been caused by the Indian variant of the new coronavirus, without registration in Brazil.
However, there is still no confirmation that the case is related to strain B.1.617 of Sars-CoV-2, known for its greater transmission capacity. The sample collected from the Indian sailor, via PCR exam, will undergo genome sequencing to check for the presence of the mutation that appeared in the Asian country.
The measure to place the ship in quarantine in Maranhão comes after the federal government determined the ban on the arrival of flights to or from India, a country with a large number of cases and deaths by covid-19. A similar measure had already been adopted in relation to flights from South Africa, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
More infected patients
On Monday (17), two more crew members of the “MV SHANDONG DA ZHI” needed to be transported to a hospital in the capital of Maranhão with symptoms of the covid-19. According to SES, a technical team inspected the vessel and collected 23 samples from the sailors, of which two showed symptoms.
The other 21 asymptomatic crew members, who remain on the ship, are isolated in individual cabins and continue to be accompanied by the Secretariat during quarantine. According to the agency, everyone’s samples will also undergo genome sequencing at the Evandro Chagas Institute.