A search has begun for over 3 000 passengers who boarded the MSC Orchestra on March 13, after it emerged that there was a passenger who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The cruise departed from Durban to Mozambique for three days.

As reported by IOL, MSC Cruises spokesperson Ross Volk said that the cruise company was informed of the positive case by the Director of Port Health last Friday [March 27]. As a result, they have now had to alert all 3 337 who were aboard the cruise, including crew members.

The ship returned to Durban on March 16, and the passenger’s positive results were received five days after that.

“The passenger had not shown any symptoms when going through the medical and travel history screening that all passengers and crew go through, prior to embarking on a cruise. She also did not report any symptoms to the ship’s on-board medical staff during the three-day cruise,” Volk said.

MSC immediately informed all those who had been aboard of the development.

“We recommended that they look out for any flu-like symptoms and quickly report any cold or flu symptoms or fever to their local health authority and to their general practitioner,” Volk added. “We also recommended that they should continue to take a number of steps to reduce the risk of infection.”

There were 3 337 people on board the ship, comprised of 2 408 passengers and 929 crew members. According to Volk, there were passengers from across the country.

“All passengers have been advised of a patient on the cruise ship who tested positive. All provinces were given names of the passengers for follow-up in their respective regions. Those in KZN have been contacted, and testing and quarantine is ongoing,” KwaZulu-Natal Health Department spokesperson Noluthando Nkosi said. “The cruise liner provided us with a list of passengers, which cuts out a lot of the work [of contact tracers]. The person who tested positive will also advise who she came into contact with.”

The President of MSC Cruises in Spain, Emiliano Gonzalez, passed away as a result of the coronavirus today [March 30].

Read more here.

Picture: MSC

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