Rumours that three Chinese crew members on-board a ship docked at the Port of Point Lisas are dead, have been dispelled.
The false information stemmed from a WhatsApp message that went viral on Thursday relating to the global epidemic, the Coronavirus nCov-2019.
The message read:
"Guys, just got confirmation that there was a vessel that docked yesterday at Point Lisas with three dead crew members. The vessel originated from China and transhipped through Brazil...Plipdeco is saying nothing but the entire port is on very high alert. Three hearses were also spotted on the port late yesterday evening...The name of the vessel is the MTM Shanghai currently at berth 1."
However, T&T Police Service (TTPS) has debunked the message in a media release, saying it is false and causing unnecessary panic.
The TTPS statement listed three facts:
"There are zero reports of dead crew members at the PT Lisas port or any other port...The MTM Shanghai is a Singaporean vessel that before docking in Trinidad, its ports of call were in Brazil, the USA and the UK. Its last visit to Asia was in mid-2019 and there were no Chinese nationals on board the MTM Shanghai as its crew is comprised of Russians, Ukrainians and Filipino crewmen."
"Citizens are advised to refrain from posting and sharing misleading information that can cause unnecessary panic and anxiety," the TTPS said.
Guardian Media was told that the hearses seen at the Point Lisas Port were in fact carrying the bodies of three Venezuelans that were to be shipped back to their homeland in Venezuela.
The bodies were prepared and initially taken to the Port in Cedros, however, there were no scanners at that facility to scan the bodies so they needed to be taken to the Point Lisas Port for scanning by Customs and Excise.
Story by RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT