Covid Outbreak: 800 Passengers Infected On Cruise Ship

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A recent news article published in the Mirror speaks about Mass Covid outbreak on cruise ship sees 800 infected passengers disembark in city.

Cases detected halfway through 

Around one in five on the cruise tested positive for Coronavirus and a large number of cases started to be detected about halfway through the 12-day voyage.

All guests onboard took a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of disembarking.

Approximately 800 Covid positive patients have disembarked from the Majestic Princess cruise ship in Sydney, Australia.

The ship, which returned from New Zealand, was carrying around 4,600 crew and passengers, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC), meaning around one in five had Coronavirus.

Rapid antigen test

The cruise line said in a statement that all guests onboard took a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of disembarking and that passengers who had tested positive would exit separately and not take public transport.

The outbreak is reminiscent of the one aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney in early 2020, where at least 900 people tested positive and 28 died.

Australia no longer requires people who have tested positive for the virus to isolate, but guests who tested positive and chose to stay on the ship were required to isolate for at least five days.

Marguerite Fitzgerald, the president of cruise operator Carnival Australia, said a large number of cases started to be detected about halfway through the 12-day voyage.

She said in a statement: “Much of this has been in planning for months. We always knew that there was a risk that at some point we were going to see a surge in community transmission and that we would then see that on a ship.

“We’ve learned what works to help mitigate transmission, we’ve learnt how to keep our vulnerable people safe and it is no different in the cruise industry.”

One passenger told ABC News: “It was scary because we heard about it, but of course we tested negative, and the Majestic Princess were really good with the protocols. [We] wore masks for these last seven days and we were very careful when we went ashore.”

The health department of New South Wales, the state in which Sydney is located, said in a statement there was a “Tier 3” covid risk level aboard the Majestic Princess, indicating a “high level of transmission.”

World’s highest vaccination rates 

Despite this, Australia has one of the world’s highest vaccination rates and as of November 9, nearly 96 per cent of residents older than 16 had received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

The outbreak on the cruise comes after a surge in case numbers across Australia over the past week, prompting Queensland to ask residents to wear masks in health facilities, indoors and on public transport.

“If the major public hospitals on the east coast aren’t overwhelmed with patients and facing staff shortages over the holiday break – I’ll donate $1000 to charity,” tweeted physician Steve Robson, president of the Australian Medical Association, in response to news of infections on board the Majestic Princess.

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Source: Mirror

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