Singapore Cruise Ship With 3,000 People on Board Called Back After COVID-19 Case Detected

A Dream Cruise ocean liner has returned to Singapore after a passenger tested positive for COVID-19. The Singapore Tourism Board informed that the ship, World Dream, docked early on Wednesday and the COVID positive passenger had been conveyed to hospital for further testing.

"The passenger was identified as a close contact of a confirmed case on land, and was immediately isolated as part of onboard health protocols," the board said in a statement.

Immediate Isolation and Contact Tracing

Soon after the 40-year-old passenger was contracted with the coronavirus, other passengers were isolated to ensure that the COVID-19 virus doesn't spread. All on-board activities were ceased and contact tracing was commenced.

Restrictions were imposed on recreational activities and dining venues. Reports of the passenger's three travelling companions came negative and they were immediately isolated. Nearly 3,000 passengers and crew on board were then confined to their cabins, reported Reuters.

Cruise ship
Cruise ship (Representational picture) Pixabay

According to The Straits Times, the four-day, three-night cruise to nowhere, which had 1,645 passengers and 1,249 crew members on board, departed on Sunday (July 11). It arrived at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre at around 6.30am on Wednesday (July 14), a few hours before it was originally scheduled to return at 9am.

Crew Will Undergo Routine Testing Every Seven Days

The disembarkation will commence when contact tracing for the positive case is completed and the passenger will only be allowed to leave the Marina Bay Cruise Centre after a mandatory antigen rapid test (ART). The ship's crew will undergo regular routine testing every seven days and will also undergo the (ART).

The Global Cruise Industry Impacted Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, had released the annual 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook. The report says that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent pause in commercial cruise operations has had devastating impacts on the cruise community.

Between mid-March and September 2020, it is estimated that the suspension of cruise operations has resulted in a loss of more than $77 billion in global economic activity. The health crisis has also lead to the loss of jobs in this sector.

Tested Positive Despite Taking Both Covid-19 Vaccination Doses

Various public health agencies like the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested that cruise ship travelers should be inoculated with COVID-vaccines.

CDC has stated that since the virus spreads more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high. According to a notice from Dream Cruises to passengers seen by The Straits Times, the infected passenger was reported to have received both Covid-19 vaccination doses.

Singapore Cruise Cut Short After COVID-19 Case in December 2020

Earlier in December, a coronavirus case had compelled the cruise ship Quantum of the Seas to return to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore.

All 1,680 guests on board the vessel and cleared a compulsory COVID-19 test before the four-day cruise began. But after the departure, an 83-year-old-man, tested positive for the virus.

At present, Singapore is witnessing relatively few domestic COVID-19 cases and had launched "round trips" on luxury liners in November, with no port of call during a few days of sailing. The cruise returning back to Singapore on July 14 has worried some of the guests as they feel the quarantine process could be extended, while others are waiting to be told when they could disembark.

Related topics : Coronavirus