36 Norwegian cruise ship crew members tested positive for COVID-19

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At least 36 crew members of a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus, days after nearly 200 passengers disembarked.Of the 158 crew members aboard the MS Roald Amundsen36 are infected, Pal Jakobsen, media official for the city of Tromso, told AFP, confirming a development that raises fears of a resurgence of cases in Norway.

Four members of the ship’s staff had already tested positive for the virus as of Friday and have since been hospitalized.

The Hurtigruten ship company had previously reported 33 positive tests. The infected crew were all Filipino except three people from France, Norway and Germany.

The ship arrived at the port of Tromsø north of Svalbard on Friday morning, where the remaining crew were quarantined on board.

There are currently no guests on the ship.

“There was no reason to suspect COVID-19 when the ship docked in Tromsø due to the symptoms they were exhibiting,” a company spokesperson said, referring to the four crew members who were hospitalized.

About 180 passengers, who left on July 25, disembarked Friday, while more than 200 passengers were on board July 17-24. These guests will self-quarantine “in accordance with the regulations of the Norwegian health authorities,” the company said.

As of Friday, 9,208 cases were reported in Norway.

One person died from the virus on Friday evening, bringing the death toll to 256. This is the first COVID-19-related death in the kingdom in two weeks.

The cruise ship industry was devastated and had to abandon much of its business. Several liners from different shipowners were essentially transformed into quarantine zones in April and May for suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus contamination.

Hurtigruten announced in March that it had suspended almost all of its activities due to the pandemic.

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