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(LEAD) Another virus outbreak reported on Russian vessel in Busan

National 14:59 July 16, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 2, 7; CHANGES photo)

BUSAN, July 16 (Yonhap) -- Health authorities said Thursday that three crewmen on a Russian ship docked in the southeastern port city of Busan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, fueling concerns over another potential group infection amid a rising number of imported cases in the country.

The virus-infected sailors were on a Russia-flagged fishing vessel that entered Gamcheon Port in Busan last month, according to the city's health authorities. The ship is currently docked at a repair shipyard in the city.

Health authorities said more cases could come from the ship as it carried 29 crew members. Test results on other seafarers, currently isolated on the ship, are expected to be announced soon.

Earlier this week, a Russian sailor aboard a Tuvalu-flagged deep-sea fishing vessel docked at Gamcheon Port tested positive for COVID-19. The other 43 crew members tested negative in virus tests, though they will be checked again during their two-week quarantine that runs through July 28.

The latest cases follow cluster infections tied to Russia-flagged ships last month that put health authorities in Busan on alert, with 19 related cases reported.

Since then, South Korea has been conducting onboard quarantine checks of foreign ships arriving from high-risk countries after assessing the degree of risks.

For Russian ships that need lots of contact with local workers, health authorities said they will conduct virus tests on all crewmembers.

A Russian fishing vessel is anchored at a repair shipyard in Busan on July 17, 2020. Health authorities said three Russian crewmen from the ship have tested positive for COVID-19. (Yonhap)


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