The crew of a Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker have been tested en masse for COVID-19 following a NSW Police operation to meet the ship on the high seas.
The Haruna Express has been anchored some three nautical miles off the coast for clearance to dock in Sydney, NSW Police said.
A police boat ferried COVID-19 test kits to the ship on Thursday following reports several crew members on-board the vessel had been displaying coronavirus symptoms.
The 28,000-tonne oil tanker was denied entry to a NSW port and ordered to remain offshore until further notice.
The vessel will not be allowed into Port Botany until negative results are confirmed for all crew members.
Marine Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Joseph Mcnulty said the operation was a reminder that police, in co-ordination with other government agencies, were managing the risk that COVID-19 posed to NSW.
“The Marine Area Command leads the management of any maritime COVID-19 risk within NSW waters, and this ship remains offshore until we receive the all clear from NSW Health and other relevant authorities,” Superintendent Mcnulty said.
Police Vessel WP25 remained alongside the tanker while all 21 crew members on-board were tested.
The tanker, which originated from South Korea, has Indian and Russian crew members on board.
All were swabbed according to NSW Health instructions, and the swabs were returned to NSW Health late on Thursday for analysis.
The results have yet to be released.