As of 5 January 2021, there are nine identified COVID-19 cases connected to a bunker tanker NewOcean 6 operated by Palmstone Tankers & Trdg Pte Ltd in the Port of Singapore. Bunker tankers are a type of harbourcraft that operate in the Port of Singapore and provide essential marine services such as refueling ships calling at Singapore.
An Indonesian crew member was tested positive for COVID-19 infection on 30 December 2020 (case 58812). He arrived in Singapore on 17 December. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has strict procedures for all crew members arriving from overseas to work onboard harbourcraft. They have to go through 14 days of quarantine and must be tested negative for COVID-19 infection at the start and end of their quarantine period in their home country.
Upon arrival in Singapore, they are tested again and need to self-isolate in a room until their test results are known before embarking on the harbourcraft. This crew member was tested negative on 1, 16, and 17 December. He started work on NewOcean 6 after his test result on 17 December returned negative for COVID-19.
All 13 remaining crew members were quarantined from 31 December.
Following case 58812, seven other Indonesian crew members and a Singaporean crew member were reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to have tested positive for COVID-19 infection on 3 January (case 58948), 4 January (case 58973), and 5 January 2021 (cases 58992, 58993, 58994, 58995, 58996 and 58997). The foreign crew members onboard the bunker tanker did not disembark prior to being tested positive. The Singapore crew member is a cargo officer who certifies bunker delivery onboard the vessel.
In view of the COVID-19 cases onboard, the bunker tanker has been quarantined and will cease all operations until further notice. The company will need to review all its procedures before it is allowed to resume operations. MPA reminds owners and operators of harbourcraft to implement and comply with safe management measures aboard vessels.