Dozens of people test positive for COVID-19 on Norwegian Cruise ship.
Image Credit: Reuters
Norwegian authorities reported that 41 people onboard the Norwegian cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen tested positive for COVID-19. Hundreds of other passengers are in quarantine and are awaiting for their results.
The Cruise ship docked in Tromso, Norway on Friday. It was on a week-long voyage to Svalbard in the Arctic, but the ship stopped in Tromso after 4 people onboard had to be admitted to the hospital. They were later found positive for the virus. The ship was expected to make stops in England and Scotland in September. Around 180 passengers were allowed to disembark the ship on the same day. The authorities rushed into trying to contact all the passengers during the weekend. All the passengers were eventually contacted, and asked to self-quarantine for 10 days.
Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldamsaid said, ‘This is a serious situation for everyone involved. We have not been good enough and we have made mistakes. A preliminary evaluation shows a breakdown in several of our internal procedures. The only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings.’
On Sunday, a Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) spokesman said, ‘Messages have been sent to all the passengers. We’re now seeking to verify that the information has been received and understood.’
The outbreak and the mistakes in handling passengers potentially positive for the virus, has prompted authorities to suspend all leisure cruises.
Line Vold, a health official said, ‘We expect that more infections will be found in connection to this outbreak.’ The majority of the passengers were Norwegians. There were also passengers from Germany, US and UK.
The outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen is reminiscent of the thousands of passengers that were left stranded in the sea on cruise ships in the beginning of the pandemic in early March. The MS Roald Amundsen was stranded in March, after being refused entry to the Chilean port, because it had positive cases onboard. The industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with shares reportedly losing more than half of their value on March.