800 Cases Of Covid-19 Outbreak Hits Carnival Cruise In Australia
A large cruise vessel with hundreds of passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 docked in Sydney.
The Majestic Princess Cruise vessel was almost halfway through its 12-day trip when a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 cases was observed onboard. Carnival Australia’s president Marguerite Fitzgerald informed the reporters in a press briefing on Saturday.
The ship reportedly had 4,600 guests and crew members, per CNN’s affiliate Nine News.
Following the mass testing on 3,300 passengers, almost 800 passengers tested positive for the deadly infection, as did a small number of crew members, Fitzgerald informed.
COVID-positive individuals were either mildly symptomatic or completely asymptomatic. Those guests were isolated in staterooms and separated from the non-impacted guests, Briana Latter, a representative of the parent firm Princess Cruises, informed CNN.
Cruise operators escorted the infected individuals off the ship and advised them to undergo a five-day isolation phase, per Nine News.
A New South Wales Health statement mentioned that the guests who tested COVID-negative were allowed to disembark from the ship.
Cruise operators escorted the infected individuals off the vessel and asked them to complete a five-day isolation phase, CNN affiliate Nine News reported. Individuals who tested negative could leave the ship, a statement from New South Wales Health highlighted.
Carnival has informed NSW Health that they’re assisting COVID-19 passengers in making 100% safe and secure onward travel arrangements.
The outbreak on the Majestic Princess reflected a sudden rise in Australia’s community transmission. Recently, Australia has experienced an uptick in its COVID-19 cases, resulting in more caution from the government. The New South Wales Ministry of Health reportedly has recorded about 19,800 new Covid-19 cases. Besides, 22 deaths have also been recorded over the last week.
The Majestic Princess cruise vessel has since left Sydney on her next voyage to Tasmania and Melbourne.
In another statement, Fitzgerald discussed how Carnival Australia has successfully made more than 50 domestic and international voyages, with a majority of over 100,000 passengers non-impacted by COVID-19. However, the re-emergence of COVID-19 in the community indicates that they have witnessed an overall rise in positive cases on their last three voyages.
Fitzgerald mentioned that the firm has been deploying the most stringent and rigorous measures that go above the current guidelines, including needing 95% of passengers over the age of 12 to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and testing passengers and staff for the same before they come on board. Fitzgerald explained that they take responsibility for keeping all individuals on their ships safe. This extends to caring for the passengers and the wider community where they visit and operate.
The Majestic Princess is not the first Carnival cruise hit by a sudden Covid-19 outbreak.
At least three other vessels in the firm’s Princess fleet — the Diamond Princess, Ruby Princess, and Grand Princess – witnessed similar outbreaks earlier in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
References: Curlytales, Forbes