NATION

Goundar, Crew Quarantined At Sea After Spending 33 Days In Isolation

Goundar Shipping Limited managing director, George Goundar, and his crew of 12 are currently quarantined at sea after arriving into the country with a new vessel on Thursday.
18 Apr 2020 09:33
Goundar, Crew Quarantined At Sea After Spending 33 Days In Isolation
Goundar Shipping’s new vessel MV Joseph P anchored out at the Suva Harbour on April 17, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Goundar Shipping Limited managing director, George Goundar, and his crew of 12 are currently quarantined at sea after arriving into the country with a new vessel on Thursday.

This is after spending 33 days in quarantine at their last port of entry in Japan.

Mr Goundar bought his tenth vessel from Japan, naming it MV Joseph P, after his late uncle, one of the company founders.

The new ship is proposed to service the Levuka, Natovi and Nabouwalu routes.

“It would be a daily morning trip, leaving Levuka at 6am for Natovi and then on to Nabouwalu before returning in the afternoon,” Mr Gounder said.

“Only the Lomaiviti Princess 8 is currently operating at the moment while the rest of the vessels are at the anchorage.”

Goundar praises staff sacrifices

Mr Goundar said the deadly COVID-19 has drastically affected their business operations.

“COVID-19 has affected the business. There is nothing we can do but to be patient and fight this virus,” he said.

“Everyone has to play a part in this and we need to be the solution to the problem and not be a hindrance or roadblock. We are proud Fijians and we have to do our part.

“For me my main concern is my staff. Some of them have gone on leave without pay and some willingly took pay reduction without my knowledge and that shows their loyalty. I have informed my wife to take note of that and we will reimburse them once all our ships are back in operation.

“I am very proud of my crew for their loyalty.

He said they will wait for the green light from the Ministry of Health team before coming ashore.

“We have spent 33 days in quarantine. We were in quarantine for 16 days in Japan and 17 days crossing. We are putting our documents in order to verify that we have been quarantined for 33 days. My crew’s temperature was taken this morning (yesterday) and it was all normal,” Mr Goundar said.

“We had to be very sure that none of my crew had any fever and in Japan we were totally isolated onboard the vessel and no one was allowed to go ashore. We played our part, but we have to be patient.

“We thank the Government for their leadership in fighting COVID-19 and we all have to do our part,” Mr Goundar added.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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