Ship stopped off QLD coast amid concerns over ‘never-before-seen’ COVID strain

A cargo ship has been intercepted off the Queensland coast amid fears passengers may be carrying a strain of coronavirus not seen in Australia before.

The Sofrana Surville is currently anchored off Mooloolaba after being prevented from docking in Brisbane.

An engineer who had been on board the ship tested positive to COVID-19 off New Zealand last week.


The ship then sailed to the Philippines, taking on more crew members before heading for Brisbane.

Australian authorities were alerted to the positive test by their New Zealand counterparts.

According to 7 News, the strain of COVID-19 the engineer was diagnosed with has not previously been seen in Australia or New Zealand.

All 19 crew members on the ship will now be tested by Queensland Health.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud insists there is no risk to the community.

“No one has left the boat and no one will leave the boat until Queensland Health officials give the all-clear around testing results,” he told 7NEWS.