A cruise ship carrying hundreds of passengers infected with the Covid virus has docked in Sydney, Australia, after it was hit by a wave of infections.
Margaret Fitzgerald, president of Carnival Australia, told reporters at a media briefing on Saturday that the cruise ship Majestic Princess was about halfway on a 12-day journey when an outbreak was noted.
There were 4,600 passengers and crew on board the ship at the time, according to Nine News affiliate CNN.
After mass testing of 3,300 passengers, Fitzgerald said, about 800 tested positive for Covid-19, as did a small number of crew.
“All positive cases were with mild or no symptoms, and these guests were isolated in their luxury rooms and then separated from unaffected guests,” Brianna Latter, a representative for parent company Princess Cruises, told CNN.
Cruise operators escorted the injured off the ship separately and advised them to complete the five-day isolation period, according to CNN affiliate Nine News. mentioned.
Those who tested positive were allowed to leave the ship, a NSW state health facility statement read.
“Carnival has advised NSW Health that they are helping passengers infected with Covid-19 to make safe travel arrangements,” the statement added.
Later said the outbreak on the Majestic Princess was “reflecting an increase in community transmission in Australia”.
Australia Covid cases have seen a slight uptick recently, which has led to more caution from within the government.
The NSW Department of Health recorded 19,800 new cases of Covid-19 and 22 deaths in the past week.
The Majestic Princess cruise ship has since left Sydney on its next trip to Melbourne and Tasmania.
In a later statement, Fitzgerald said Carnival Australia had made more than 50 international and domestic flights “with the vast majority of over 100,000 guests unaffected by Covid”.
“However, the emergence of Covid in the community means that we have seen a rise in positive cases on the last three flights,” she said.
Fitzgerald said the airline is implementing “the most stringent and rigorous measures that go well beyond current guidelines,” including requiring 95% of guests over the age of 12 to be vaccinated and testing staff and passengers for Covid before boarding a plane.
“We take our responsibility to keep everyone safe very seriously. Not only does this take care of our guests, but the wider community in which we work and visit,” Fitzgerald said.
The Princess Majestic isn’t the first Carnival ride to be hit by the Covid virus.
At least three other ships within the company’s Princess fleet – The Ruby Princess, diamond princessand the Grand Princess – they experienced an outbreak earlier in the pandemic.
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