All on Singapore cruise ship confined to cabins after suspected COVID-19 case

2021-07-14 07:40:32 GMT2021-07-14 15:40:32(Beijing Time) Sina English


People are seen onboard the Dream Cruises' World Dream cruise ship docked at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore on July 14.

A Genting Cruise Lines' shipon a "cruise to nowhere" has returned to Singapore after apassenger was suspected of having contracted COVID-19, and thenearly 3,000 passengers and crew onboard have been confined totheir cabins.

A 40-year-old passenger tested positive to a PolymeraseChain Reaction (PCR) test onboard and had been conveyed tohospital for further testing after the ship docked early onWednesday, the Singapore Tourism Board said.

"The passenger was identified as a close contact of aconfirmed case on land, and was immediately isolated as part ofonboard health protocols," the board said in a statement.

The global cruise industry has taken a major hit from thecoronavirus pandemic, with some of the earliest big outbreaks oncruise ships in Asian waters.

Singapore, which has seen relatively few domestic COVID-19cases, launched "round trips" on luxury liners in November, withno port of call during a few days of sailing.

Dream Cruises' World Dream had 1,646 passengers and 1,249crew members onboard and all of them were required to remain intheir staterooms with contactless meals sent to them, DreamCruises, a part of Genting Cruise Lines, said.

The guest suspected of having COVID-19 had tested negativein a mandatory, pre-departure antigen rapid test before the shipset sail for a three-night cruise on Sunday.

The passenger's three traveling companions tested negativeand were isolated while further contact tracing was being done,the tourism board said.

Only essential service crew with personal protectiveequipment were being allowed limited movement within the ship,Dream Cruises said.

Passengers said they found out about the suspected case inan announcement at around 1am.

"We were prepared for the possibility," said passengerSuryana Ali in an online session with media organized by theoperator.

Several guests onboard the docked ship could be seenchatting to one another across their private balconies, aReuters witness on Singapore's waterfront said.

The cruises to nowhere, restricted to Singapore residents,have become popular during the pandemic with very limited othertravel opportunities because of coronavirus restrictions.