Passengers and crew stuck on coronavirus-hit cruise ship off coast of Cape Town

2020-03-17 17:29

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A cruise liner with 1 726 people on board, as well as a cargo vessel, was being held off port limits in Cape Town after a suspected case of coronavirus was detected on board one of the ships.

In a statement, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said a crew member on board the MV Corona cargo ship had started showing symptoms of the virus after the vessel departed the Cape Town harbour on 11 March.

On 13 March, the master of the vessel contacted port health officials, requesting that the vessel return so the man could be isolated and quarantined.

It was later discovered the crew member and a colleague on the ship had flown into South Africa from Istanbul, Turkey, on 9 March and that six passengers, who are now aboard the MV AidAmira passenger liner, which operates between Cape Town and Walvis Bay, were on the same flight. 

Quarantined

The master of the MV AidAmira immediately quarantined the six passengers as a precautionary measure and, following a joint operation by TNPA Harbour Master, the SA Maritime Safety Authority, Port Health and a specialist doctor, the vessel was allowed to dock, but crew and passengers were not allowed to disembark.

"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 statement said.

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

Read more on:    cape town  |  coronavirus
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