Hong Kong halts cruise to nowhere as crew member suspects COVID-19 – .

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Hong Kong halts cruise to nowhere as crew member suspects COVID-19 – .


The Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Spectrum of the Seas” is seen docked at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong, China on October 22, 2021. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG, Oct.22 (Reuters) – Hong Kong authorities prevented a Royal Caribbean (RCL.N) cruise ship from leaving the city terminal on Thursday evening after a crew member was suspected of having COVID -19 after routine testing, the government and the declared the cruise line.

The ship “Spectrum of the Seas” was to begin a “cruise to nowhere” voyage in nearby waters, limited to half of its capacity and only for fully vaccinated residents who tested negative for the virus 48 hours before the start. trip.

About 1,000 passengers out of a total of 1,200 had already boarded the ship before the four-night trip was canceled. All are required to undergo mandatory tests but were allowed to leave the ship as they had no direct contact with the crew member.

“In a routine COVID-19 test on crew members today, we identified a crew member who has been tested indefinitely. Following a secondary sample test, the test was preliminarily positive for COVID-19, ”Royal Caribbean said in a statement on Facebook.

The 40-year-old crew member tested positive for COVID-19 in Malaysia in July, then has tested negative more than 10 times since returning to Hong Kong in August. He has been fully vaccinated with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine (SVA.O).

His last sample was taken on Oct. 19 and had a “very low viral load,” the Center for Health Protection said in a statement, adding that it was asymptomatic and the decision to detain the vessel was “a prudent measure.” .

Hong Kong has some of the toughest travel restrictions in the world and is virtually COVID-19 free. The Chinese-ruled city has reported just over 12,300 cases since the start of the pandemic, most of them imported, and 213 deaths.

Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Marius Zaharia; Edited by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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