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Cruise ship returns to Singapore after passenger tests positive for COVID-19

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-12-09 14:38
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Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise ship docks at Marina Bay Cruise Center after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a cruise to nowhere, in Singapore, Dec 9, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

SINGAPORE - A Royal Caribbean cruise returned to Singapore on Wednesday morning after an 83-year-old passenger onboard tested positive for COVID-19, local media reported.

The Straits Times quoted Annie Chang, director of cruise at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), as saying that the passenger had reported to the onboard medical center with diarrhoea, and underwent a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as part of onboard protocols.

"The passenger had taken a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test prior to boarding, and was tested negative," she added.

The ship, called the Quantum of the Seas, is on the third day of a four-day "cruise to nowhere". There are 1,680 guests and 1,148 crew members on board. Local media reported that the ship has isolated all guests and crew who had close contact with the guest, all of whom tested negative for COVID-19.

The straits Times also quoted Angie Stephen, managing director for Asia-Pacific at Royal Caribbean International, as saying that the ship is finalizing the contact tracing process, then it will get clearance from the ministry of health to debark guests.

Stephen said that those who are not close contacts of the confirmed case will be allowed to debark and take a rapid antigen test as per original procedure. Then, they can go home and will be advised to monitor their health for the next 14 days.

"After that, all guests will take a polymerase chain reaction test with the expense borne by Royal Caribbean," she added.

Royal Caribbean last week resumed three- and four-night Ocean Getaway cruises as part of a safe cruising pilot programme announced in October by the STB, local media reported.

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