A royal Caribbean Singapore’s “cruise to nowhere” was canceled on Wednesday after the nearly 1,700 passengers on the ship were instructed to stay in their cabins for more than 16 hours after a positive coronavirus test.
According to ReutersThe Quantum of the Seas initially left port for a four-day cruise on Monday after all passengers had passed a mandatory polymerase chain reaction test for the virus up to three days earlier.
An 83-year-old man on board eventually reported to the ship’s medical center with diarrhea, and a subsequent COVID-19 test revealed the coronavirus infection, Reuters reported.
The man was taken to hospital on Wednesday after the ship returned to port.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said two additional tests on the patient were negative, with another scheduled for Thursday.
Authorities told Reuters that all other passengers were locked in their rooms on Wednesday to conduct contact tracing. Officials said the patient’s close contacts among the 1,680 guests and 1,148 crew members on board had so far tested negative.
Reuters reported that all passengers must undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests before disembarking the ship.
Singapore, which has reported more than 58,000 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths, has recorded very few local cases in the past few weeks. On Wednesday the Land had no new ones locally transmitted infections.
Open only to Singapore residents, the cruise is one of Royal Caribbean’s first since it ceased operations worldwide in March amid the pandemic.
In September the The Cruise Lines International Association, a trading group that accounts for 95 percent of the world’s ocean cruising capacity, said so planned to test all passengers and crew for the coronavirus before boarding ships in preparation for resumption of sailing in the US
The Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Healthy Sail Panel submitted a 66-page report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the time Dozens of recommendations on how the spread of COVID-19 on ships can be prevented or mitigated. The report included testing of passengers and crew members, as well as daily temperature checks and face mask requirements.
The CDC said in late October It would lift its “No Sail” order to allow “simulation” cruises to sail in US waters starting Sunday, but it did not specify when passengers could return to cruise lines.