The Red Ensign trawler Argos Pereira finally left on Saturday evening for the Falkland Islands to begin the squid season after spending 16 days in Montevideo because of an outbreak of Covid 19 on board, as reported by the Uruguayan Chamber of Foreign Fishing Vessels Agents, CAPE.
The last round of tests of crewmembers showed that 50 tested negative out of 54, and thus four had to remain in Montevideo. One of them is still hospitalized but apparently is recovering. The other three are quarantined in a local hotel and will be flown back to Spain once they are discharged.
Argos Pereira left Vigo on 24 January following Covid 19 negative tests from the 54 members of the crew, Spanish officers, plus Peruvians, Indonesian and Senegalese. Following a brief call in Las Palmas, the trawler arrived in Montevideo on 11 February for bunkering. A couple of crew members seemed to have the virus symptoms.
Following Montevideo port protocols, all on board were tested and 28 resulted positive. Immediately the thirteen negative cases were quarantined in a hotel in Montevideo, while another thirteen had to remain on board to comply with minimum maritime regulations for the maintenance of the vessel.
Four days later a new round of swabs showed that another ten crewmembers tested negative. On 19 February another fourteen landed and were taken to the hotel to remain in quarantine, and four days later were joined by the Peruvian fisherman who had been hospitalized.
Finally Saturday evening the Argos Pereira left for the South Atlantic.