Russian fishing crew 'feeling well looked after'

The Sudima Hotel in Christchurch which is being used as an isolation facility. Photo: RNZ / Nate...
The Sudima Hotel in Christchurch which is being used as an isolation facility. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon
Hundreds of Russian fishing crew members at a Covid isolation hotel in Christchurch are said to be in good spirits and those who have the virus are doing well.

Eighteen of the 237 foreign workers at the Sudima Hotel are infected with Covid-19.

They will all be tested again today with more positive cases expected.

Sealord is one of the three companies which bought the crew into the country to work on its deep-sea trawlers.

Chief executive Doug Paulin managed to speak to some of them yesterday.

"We've been able to find out that they're feeling positive, they're feeling well looked after.

"They appreciate the lengths that the facility are going to to make sure they're kept isolated and that protocols are being followed."

Those who have tested positive are not feeling too unwell he said.

"As far as we know none of them have any significant adverse affects [and are] feeling very well-managed in that facility."

Paulin said hey understand they will probably have to stay in isolation longer.

That also means the trawlers are left sitting in port but he said that's not the company's top priority.

"Our concern is around the welfare of our crew, there will likely be a delay because the Ministry of Health need to work through everyone being Covid-19 free before they leave the facility then it needs to be cleaned before the next plane arrives into the country."

Anna Filippochkina from the Russian cultural centre in Christchurch is worried about the crew being sick so far from home.

She hasn't spoken to the crew directly but expects anyone in their situation would find it stressful.

"They might feel lonely, they don't know what to expect in the future so support from the community is very important and that's what we want to do."

She said the Russian community is going to come up with a plan to make the workers feel more at home.


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