Covid-19: 1,700 aboard Cape Town cruise liner enter day four of captivity

18 March 2020 - 12:10 By Bobby Jordan
Six passengers aboard the AIDAmira were on the same flight from Istanbul as two sailors now in isolation aboard their cargo vessel in Cape Town harbour.
Six passengers aboard the AIDAmira were on the same flight from Istanbul as two sailors now in isolation aboard their cargo vessel in Cape Town harbour.
Image: AIDA Cruises

More than 1,700 passengers and crew on Wednesday entered their fourth day stuck aboard a cruise liner in Cape Town harbour because of a coronavirus scare.

This follows the evacuation of six passengers for precautionary screening tests. The test results are expected on Wednesday.

“Six passengers on board the Italian-flagged MV AIDAmira passenger vessel had been on the same flight as the crew members of the MV Corona,” said Transnet said in a statement on Tuesday.

"According to the master and the doctor on the passenger liner, the six have shown no symptoms of the virus but are in isolation and being monitored continuously.

"The master of the MV AIDAmira immediately quarantined the six passengers to prevent the spread of the infection to other passengers and crew."

The cruise ship, which set sail from Walvis Bay, Namibia, arrived outside Cape Town on Sunday.

"A joint operation centre was set up on Monday, inclusive of the Transnet National Ports Authority harbour master, the South African Maritime Safety Authority, Port Health [Services] and a specialist doctor," said Transnet.

"After careful consideration of the facts by the joint operation centre, the vessel was permitted to dock on Monday.

"The six passengers have been evacuated and taken to hospital for testing, and thereafter will be taken to a quarantined area arranged by Port Health officials.

"The rest of the passengers will remain quarantined on board until the test results for the six are received. A decision will be made based on the results."

This is a developing story.


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