PortandTerminal.com, March 6, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Passengers and crews of the cruise ship Grand Princess off San Francisco Bay have tested positive for coronavirus.
Vice President Mike Pence says 21 people aboard a mammoth cruise ship off the California coast have tested positive for the new coronavirus, including 19 crew members. Pence said Friday that the federal government is working with California officials on a plan to bring the ship to a non-commercial port this weekend.
All 3,500 passengers and crew members will all need to be tested for the virus.
Earlier today, a number of testing kits were flown to the ship by helicopter.
Authorities need to do three things now
One. Test the remaining passengers on board the massive cruise ship to see how big the problem they are dealing with is. That’s going to take time and more testing kits which have been in short supply.
Two. Get passengers off of the ship and into land-based quarantines. The fiasco of the Diamond Princess quarantine showed that on board isolation does not work. In that recent quarantine incident off of the coast of Japan, 705 of the passengers and crew on board came down with the virus. It is still unclear how the virus spread during the quarantine, but it did. There can be no repeat of that deadly mistake.
Three. Governments need to ask some hard questions about blocking ALL cruise ships now from their ports. This is already happening in a haphazard fashion in some ports globally. It needs to be formalized into policy. Yes, this will cause massive financial losses to the industry and yes many of America’s ports and they will need support to get through it. Is there really a viable alternative at this moment to not shutting the ports to cruise ships?
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