CMA CGM Marco Polo crew member tested for COVID-19

CMA CGM has confirmed a crew member on board the Marco Polo off the coast of Spain is being tested for the coronavirus.

“One crew member of the CMA CGM Marco Polo has taken ill on board. All necessary precautions have been taken to isolate the crew member until medical assistance and a test can be undertaken. No other crew are showing symptoms,” CMA CGM said in an email to American Shipper.

CMA CGM did not say whether other crew members were being quarantined.

“In accordance with the current standard operating procedures, a total disinfection on board has been undertaken,” CMA CGM said.

The French ocean carrier also did not verify reports that Spanish authorities had prohibited the Marco Polo from docking at the Port of Algeciras. Port authorities did not respond to a request for information.

The Marco Polo is the second reported container ship with suspected cases of COVID-19 on board. A.P. Møller-Mærsk confirmed Monday that seven crew members had been evacuated from the Gjertrud Maersk and hospitalized in Ningbo, China. One of those crew members tested positive for the coronavirus, and Maersk said four were “asymptomatic infected individuals.” 

FreightWaves Senior Editor Greg Miller reported recently that if seafarers aboard commercial oceangoing cargo ships started to become infected with the coronavirus, there was major trouble ahead for the global transport network.

The Marco Polo was one of five CMA CGM vessels anchored in the Bay of Marseilles in front of La Major Cathedral in late June 2018 to sound their horns in tribute during the funeral of the company’s founding president, Jacques R. Saadé.

The vessel was one of three 16,000-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) ships built in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and delivered to CMA CGM in 2012 and 2013.