Relief As COVID-19 Infected Sailor Tests Positive For Antibodies Skip to content

Relief As COVID-19 Infected Sailor Tests Positive For Antibodies

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Boats in harbour in Höfn í Hornafirði
Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The crew member of the long-line vessel FJölnir GK who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday after breaking quarantine had an old, non-active infection, Captain Aðalsteinn Rúnar Friðjónsson told RÚV. The crew member was tested for antibodies this morning and the result came in around noon, indicating that antibodies were present so that he is no longer contagious.

The man is Polish and was returning from paternity leave in Poland when he broke quarantine. At today‘s information briefing, Víðir Reynisson was asked about the case and stated that while he didn‘t know the details of this particular case, such incidents commonly concluded with fines.

Nine crew members of Fjölnir GK have been quarantining on board the ship after their coworker tested positive for the coronavirus in his second test after returning to the country. By going to work before receiving the results of his second test, the crew member broke quarantine. He went into isolation and the crewmembers he had interacted with were quarantined but was tested for antibodies this morning. The results were that he had already contracted and recovered from COVID-19 and was not infectious, so Fjölnir was free to sail at two pm today, with its full crew.

At the information briefing today, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason reminded employers receiving workers from abroad not to put people arriving in the country to work until they’ve completed their two mandatory tests with a 5-day quarantine in between.

Earlier this month, the captain of freezer trawler Júlíus Geirmundsson’s captain license was suspended due to an incident last October when suspicion of a COVID-19 outbreak at sea was ignored. In that incident, the result was that 22 of the crew contracted COVID-19 and members of the crew spoke out publicly against the ship’s management’s reckless behaviour. Fortunately, as soon as news of the infection at FJölnir GK broke, the crew member went into isolation, the people he had come into contact with were quarantined, and the boat was docked.

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