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Ukrainian diplomats are exploring the possibility of providing assistance to two citizens of Ukraine sick on COVID-19, who are part of the crew of the SFL Kate vessel anchored in Malaysia waters.

Oleh Nikolenko, speaker for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, made the relevant statement via Twitter on Monday, January 11.

"The Ukrainian Embassy in Malaysia is in touch with Ukrainian sailors. In cooperation with the ship owner, the possibility of a doctor's visit to the ship to provide emergency medical assistance is urgently being worked out," Nikolenko said.

Earlier today, RFE/RL reported that the Malaysian authorities, despite promises, have not been providing assistance to eight COVID-19 patients among the crew of the SFL Kate bulk vessel for several days after the vessel anchored in the country's waters.

Read alsoChina says WHO COVID-19 origins probe team to arrive Jan 14 – mediaAmong them are two Ukrainians - Captain Ihor Starytsky (Crimea) and chief engineer Valery Hryhoriev (Kyiv).

Before anchoring off Malaysia coast, the captain was refused entry to the Singapore waters on reports that eight crew members had tested positive for coronavirus.


SFL Kate is transporting coal from Indonesia to India. It sailed off on December 25 and the sick captain experienced the first symptoms of COVID-19 on January 1-2.