by Ester Mbathera
A SECOND foreign specialist fisherman on board one of Erongo Marine Enterprises (EME) vessels tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The person is part of the specialist crew that arrived in the country on a chartered flight from Frankfurt last Friday, as part of a horse mackerel fishing team.
Six Namibians were on the same flight with the fishing crew. A Namibian studying in Russia who was on the same flight, also tested positive for the virus on Monday.
EME managing director Martha Uumati confirmed the case on Wednesday afternoon saying it is from the same vessel as the first case, leaving the second EME freezer trawler Covid-19 free.
Uumati explained that the foreign crew only make up 30% of the total seagoing crew complement.
“These foreign specialists are critical for the safe operation of our Russian-built vessels. Without them we would not be able to go out to sea, which ultimately results in our Namibian crew not being able to work and earning a living,” she said.
According to Uumati, both persons remain asymptomatic and are currently being kept in isolation in separate cabins on the vessel where their health status is constantly being monitored by a medical officer on board.