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WARNING: Port Santos, Brazil is the most COVID-19 infected port in the world

Workers move bags on a dock at the Port of Santos in Santos, Brazil in 2017. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

PortandTerminal.com, May 15, 2020

Three terminals reporting coronavirus infections and now three container ships are also quarantined at Brazil’s Port Santos with confirmed infections onboard.

SAO PAULO – Brazil’s Port Santos may be the world’s most COVID-19 infected port in the world. Vessels, crew and visitors are advised to avoid it if at all possible.

Earlier this week Bloomberg reported that at least three privately-run terminals that handle soybeans, corn, sugar and coffee at the Santos port in Brazil have registered two cases each of Covid-19 in the past two weeks.

There were also earlier reports this week that two container ships that arrived at Santos are in quarantine with confirmed cases of Covid-19 among their crews, health regulator Anvisa said on its website. Today, we are learning that a third container ship now has confirmed cases of COVID-19 onboard among the crew.

Container ship. Containers. Crane. Dock.
FILE PHOTO: LOG IN JATOBA

Fourteen crew members of the Brazilian container ship LOG IN JATOBA were found virus test positive at Port Santos according to The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) official statement issued on May 14. They join two other container ships already in quarantine.

Earlier this week, the 5300 TEU container ship Barbara was one of the vessels with positive cases of COVID-19 required to undergo quarantine in the Santos anchorage. The MSC Giselle, a 9400 TEU container ship is also in the Santos anchorage with its crew undergoing testing.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 17 crew members of vessels passing through the port needed medical assistance for respiratory conditions, 13 of whom tested positive for Covid-19, the Santos health department said.

In the city of Santos, where the port is located, the number of cases and deaths have jumped with intensive care units almost full at about 80%, according to the city health secretariat.

Brazil’s lack of effective political leadership to blame

President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at a dinner at Mar-a-Lago in March 2020.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at a dinner at Mar-a-Lago in March 2020. It was at this dinner that there were concerns Brazilian members of his delegation had possibly infected President Trump with coronavirus (they didn’t).
Alex Brandon/AP

The fact that Port Santos is in the dangerous condition that it is today shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Brazil’s bumbling, right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro has been disdainful of any sensible precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

The country has seen a surge of new virus infections and deaths as a result of Bolsonaro’s indifference – as of today Brazil is the 6th most infected country in the world with over 206,000 cases and 14,131 deaths.

Mass graves being dug in Brazil to handle the surge in coronavirus deaths.
Mass graves being dug in Brazil to handle the surge in coronavirus deaths.

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