Ship off Coast may have 'never before seen' COVID strain
There are fears a container ship currently off Queensland's Sunshine Coast could be carrying a strain of COVID-19 that hasn't been seen before in Australia.
The Sofrana Surville has been stopped from docking at Brisbane and its 19 crew members will be tested by Queensland Health officials after an engineer who previously worked on the vessel tested positive in New Zealand.
New Zealand authorities alerted their Australian counterparts to the virus risk on the ship after the man returned a positive test on Saturday.
He was believed to have caught the virus while working on the Sofrana Surville off Auckland on October 12 and 13.
The strain of COVID-19 that infected the engineer has not been seen in Australia or New Zealand, Kiwi authorities said, according to 7NEWS.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said there was no risk to the community.
"No one has left the boat and no one will leave the boat until Queensland Health officials give the all-clear around testing results," he told 7NEWS.
"The New Zealand officials rightfully made contact with the Australian government to alert us.
"Subsequently, we then notified the Queensland health department to make sure every precaution is taken before we allow anyone to leave that boat.
"The protocols have worked to the letter."
Originally published as 'Idiots': Dan's lockdown exit plan attacked