34 crew members positive for COVID-19 on docked Costa Atlantica; Costa Deliziosa docks in Italy

34 crew members positive for COVID-19 on docked Costa Atlantica; Costa Deliziosa docks in Italy

More than a month after the no-sail order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cruise industry is continuing slow progress towards a halt in operations in the face of coronavirus.

A few cruise ships have guests on board, and others are still hosting crew members, some of whom are facing difficult conditions, including time on board without pay.

"All ships within the CLIA fleet have completed their itineraries. A few are still at port awaiting debarkation of passengers," Bari Golin-Blaugrund, senior director of strategic communications for Cruise Lines International Association, told USA TODAY on Wednesday.

34 crew members positive for COVID-19 on docked Costa Atlantica

In a statement, Costa Cruises said told USA TODAY that 34 crew members on board the docked ship Costa Atlantica have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Italian-flagged Costa Atlantica has been docked in Nagasaki, Japan, for repairs and maintenance by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry since Jan. 29. No passengers have been on board during the repair work.

There are 632 people on board of 33 nationalities, according to the cruise line.

More than 30 crew members from Italian-flagged Costa Atlantica  have tested positive for coronavirus. The ship has been docked in Japan for repairs since the end of January.

"We have already upgraded the precautionary and containment measures including, but not limited to, quarantine on board, following the instructions from the Japanese government and the relevant health authorities," Costa Cruises said in the statement.

The outbreak surfaced Tuesday when the first crew member, identified only as a foreign national, tested positive for the virus.

None of those infected had serious symptoms, and all are isolated in single rooms on the ship, officials said.

Mitsubishi officials said no crew members had left the ship since mid-March. Before then, crew members had been allowed to come and go from ship to shore if they passed temperature checks and had not traveled recently to high-risk countries such as China and Italy.

"We have been constantly monitoring the health of our colleagues on board during the ships' stay in Japan," the cruise line said.

'Inherently high-risk setting':Are cruise ships unsafe – and will they change?

Nagasaki officials are investigating how and where the crew members contracted the virus.

The outbreak on the ship adds to concerns about testing and hospital capacity in Nagasaki, where only 102 beds are available.

All of Japan is under a coronavirus state of emergency as cases rise. Japan has about 11,500 cases of infection, with 280 deaths. Those numbers are separate from an earlier outbreak on another cruise ship, carrying more than 3,700 passengers and crew, where 712 people were infected.

Costa Deliziosa docks in Genoa, lets some passengers off

The Costa Deliziosa cruise ship docked in Genoa, Italy, on Wednesday.

Another Costa ship docked Wednesday, in Genoa, after wind conditions prevented a scheduled entrance into port on Tuesday evening, spokesman Roger Frizzell told USA TODAY.

It is the final Carnival Corp. ship with guests still on board to return to port.

"Following the onboard inspections, carried out by the local health authorities, disembarking operations for the return home of the 1,519 guests on board the ship have begun," Costa Cruises said Wednesday. "Transportation to the various destinations of origin have been organized by the company directly from the Maritime Station in Genoa."march

Passenger disembarkation will take place over the next several days.

Costa Deliziosa departed on a four-month-long "Around the World" cruise on Jan. 5, before the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global health emergency on Jan. 30 and long before the agency upgraded the virus to a pandemic on March 11. Since then, the ship has only stopped for fuel and supplies. The ship was originally scheduled to disembark on April 26 in Venice.

Three months in: A timeline of how COVID-19 has unfolded in the US

As of Wednesday, Costa Cruises maintained there were no cases of COVID-19, Frizzell said.

"The health situation on board, where in addition to guests, there are also 898 crew members, does not present any public health concern and no registered cases of COVID-19," the line said in the statement.

A 75-year-old Italian passenger died on board due to a heart attack on April 6.

"The company while presenting its heartfelt condolences to the guest’s relatives, is taking steps to provide the necessary assistance to them," Costa said in the statement. "The disembarkation and translation of the body for reunification with his loved ones will take place from Genoa, the final destination of the cruise, following the instructions of the relevant authorities."

Remaining Pacific Princess passengers have disembarked in Los Angeles

The Pacific Princess docked at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California, on Monday.

On Tuesday, all remaining passengers on Princess Cruises' Pacific Princess disembarked, said Negin Kamali, a spokesperson for Princess Cruises.

Pacific Princess returned to Los Angeles on Monday with 119 passengers who remained after most were disembarked in Fremantle, Australia, on March 21. There were no COVID-19 cases on board.

"Of the 119 passengers who remained onboard, 109 were deemed, under IATA medical clearance guidelines, to be medically unfit to undertake a long-haul flight back to the United States from Australia," the line said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Pacific Princess departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Jan. 5 for a 112-day World Cruise. After the cruise line's March 12 announcement that it would cease operations for 60 days, the ship made only two service calls.

'Inherently high-risk setting':Are cruise ships unsafe – and will they change?

Diamond Princess, Grand Princess:Cruise line had high rates of illness even before coronavirus

Contributing: Associated Press

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/04/22/coronavirus-cruise-ship-crew-test-positive-docked/3002117001/

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