Hundreds of COVID-19-infected passengers got off a cruise ship early Saturday morning. Still, an expert assures Australians that there are several protections against the virus.
The Majestic Princess, which has arrived in Sydney, had 3300 passengers and 1300 crew members on board, including an estimated 800 COVID-19 patients.
Everyone who tested positive has been instructed to arrange a private transfer and stay isolated at home.
Professor Robert Booy, an expert on infectious diseases, said passengers who tested positive were getting off the ship before those who did not.
Booy explained, “They have been kept isolated in their rooms; Majestic Princess is the sister ship of ‘Ruby Princess, ‘ which takes you back to 2020.”
He reassured Australians that the country is far safer than it was a year ago.
“The advice is to obtain a booster and, if you do end up with COVID-19, get the anti-viral as soon as possible, if you are eligible… It can stop the virus in its tracks.” Most people have immunity from both infection and vaccination, and this combination is known as a hybrid, which is highly potent.”
NSW Health previously stated that the cruise line would be responsible for “assisting travellers with COVID-19 to make safe onward travel arrangements.”
“As the current wave of infections driven by the novel Omicron subvariants continues to grow, there are currently growing levels of COVID-19 throughout the community,” an NSW Health spokesperson said.
The Majestic Princess has been designated as a “tier three risk level” by NSW Health, signifying a very high transmission rate.
Stuart Allison, senior vice president at Princess Cruises, said the company will assist passengers who tested positive with finding “private transport and housing to continue isolation when they disembark.”
In addition, “we also have a number of tight and robust procedures in place to ensure the safety of our guests and staff and to restrict the exposure of existing cases in the community,” Allison stated.
All travellers will be screened with a quick antigen test and masked “regardless of COVID status” in the last 24 hours before disembarkation.
Allison reassured the passengers that the ship’s medical staff would remain available to them right up until they left the ship.
Many in the community are understandably worried about the recent outbreak of COVID-19, and we are conscious of this and committed to doing everything in our power to ensure everyone’s safety.
Those passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19 have started isolating themselves in their rooms. It has been reported that the staff has been instructed to wear full PPE and that all other passengers “were wearing masks.”
Those who tested positive on board were stated to be “mildly sick or asymptomatic and were isolating in their guestrooms,” according to the cruise line.
We continue to work closely with NSW Health, adhering to their instructions and have taken proactive measures to prepare for and manage COVID-19 occurrences.
No plan was even hinted at to keep sick people from getting off the ship.
NSW Health has not yet released a definitive tally of passengers who tested positive for COVID-19.
The state health department of New South Wales announced that it is communicating with the Majestic Princess to keep track of the wellness of the cruise’s passengers and staff.
Carnival is helping passengers infected with COVID-19 make alternative travel plans, and the company has informed NSW Health.