No bar on 17 Chinese sailors to leave ship at Sitakunda yard

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The Daily Star | February 11, 2020

The 9,000-mt Uni Harvest cargo ship of Japan sailed from China’s Weifang Port for Chattogram on January 20, 2020. Photo taken from UNB Star Online Report

There is no bar on the 17 Chinese sailors, who have been stuck for three days in a ship docked at Sitakunda coast, to leave the ship following health tests which found no symptoms of coronavirus.

Health tests conducted on the 17 sailors found no symptoms of coronavirus and they are free to leave the ship, Sitakunda Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Milton Ray told The Daily Star last night.

“The 17 Chinese sailors are not infected with coronavirus, but according to the rule the sailors are not allowed to go anywhere without permission from authorities concerned,” said Abu Hasem Abdullah, owner the yard.

“We are trying to get permission for the sailors to leave the ship and return to China. It’s a regular process for the sailors who come in Bangladesh with the scrap ships. We hope that we will get permission for their return within Tuesday,” the sailors’ agent Md Rafikul Islam told The Daily Star.

According to the source, the 9,000-mt Uni Harvest cargo ship was imported by Lalbag Shipbreaking Yard and was docked at Sitakunda coast for scrapping.

The Japanese cargo ship sailed from China’s Weifang Port for Chattogram on January 20 and was brought to the shipyard in Sitakunda on Saturday evening. The 17 sailors were stuck in the ship since then for three days, as they were not allowed to leave the ship due to coronavirus outbreak concern.

“The shipyard authorities had failed to report on the sailors before the ship was docked,” UNO Milton told UNB News earlier.

The owners of Lalbag Shipbreaking Yard earlier told UNB News that the sailors will be sent back directly to China once their air tickets are confirmed.

Sailors from other countries left the ship after it had been beached, they added.

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