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Greek Ferry Anchored outside Piraeus, with 20 Coronavirus Patients on Board

Ευρωκίνηση

(Photo by Eurokinissi, file)

ATHENS - The ferry "Eleftherios Venizelos" was on Wednesday ordered to remain anchored outside Pireaus port until further notice after 20 of its 383 passengers were found to be infected with coronavirus.

The ferry is carrying a 34-person crew and another 349 seamen of various nationalities, among them two Greek citizens.

Two of the 20 patients, a 72-year old Swiss man and a 34-year old Indonesian, who were in a more serious condition than the others, were transferred to Attikon hospital.

The crew of the ferry and the other passengers will remain on the ship for at least 12 days.

The ferry, which had been leased to transfer seamen to man another vessel waiting in Spain, had been anchored outside Piraeus port since March 21, when the measures forbidding ships from docking at Greek ports were applied.

The vessel had been leased by a Maltese company owned by a Turk and had originally gone to Spain but was forced to turn back after Spanish authorities refused to allow it to dock. The shipping company then ordered the "Eleftherios Venizelos" to transfer the crews to Turkey but the Turkish authorities allowed only Turkish seamen to disembark. Since then, the vessel remained at anchor outside the port of Piraeus, awaiting further instructions.