Cruise ship hell as Covid outbreak strikes vessel carrying 3,200 passengers

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The Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans on November 28 on a week-long voyage that included stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico. But the cruise ship was struck with disaster after 10 people tested positive for COVID-19. Norwegian Cruise Line issued a statement that confirmed a “handful of COVID-19 cases among guests and crew.”

They said all of the cases were asymptomatic, adding that all are members have been vaccinated.

They said: “We are testing all individuals on Norwegian Breakaway prior to disembarkation, as well as providing post-exposure and quarantine public health guidance by the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).

“Any guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 will travel by personal vehicle to their personal residence or self-isolate in accommodations provided by the company.”

Health officials in New Orleans successfully disembarked 3,200 passengers on Sunday.

But some claimed they were unaware of the outbreak until being asked by reporters.

A passenger from North Carolina told WVUE-TV: “We didn’t hear of this until we kind of heard you talking a second ago.

“It would have been nice to have known. We would have taken maybe a few more precautions.”

Passengers said they were tested for Covid-19 exposure on Saturday before disembarking Sunday.

The cruise line also gave passengers take-home rapid tests as they left the ship.

Officials did not release any information about the conditions of those who have contracted the virus.

The company said no changes to scheduled future sailings on the Norwegian Breakaway are currently planned, and the ship was scheduled to depart again Sunday evening.

Cruise ships were an early source of outbreaks last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic as some ships were rejected at ports and passengers were forced into quarantine.

Some passengers even died of COVID-19 at sea while others fell so ill they had to be carried out of the vessels on stretchers.

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The CDC issued a no-sail order in March 2020, prompting a standstill that ended last June as cruise ships began to leave U.S. ports with new health and safety requirements.

It extended its conditional sailing order at the end of October until next year, identified one-thousand, three hundred and fifty-seven COVID-19 cases on cruise ships between June 26 – October 21, 2021

The CDC highlighted what it described as “several large outbreaks” on cruise ships but did not identify any of the cruise ships involved in the outbreaks.

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