Nor­way cruise ship pas­sen­gers with virus now at 43

Times Colonist - - Business -

COPEN­HAGEN — The num­ber of pas­sen­gers on a Nor­we­gian cruise ship who have tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus has reached 43, au­thor­i­ties said Tues­day.

The out­break on the MS Roald Amund­sen raised new ques­tions about safety on cruise ships dur­ing the pan­demic even as the in­dus­try is press­ing to re­sume sail­ings after shut­ting down in March.

The ship’s owner on Mon­day halted all trips and Nor­way closed its ports to cruise ships for two weeks.

The city of Trond­heim re­ported the two new cases — a man in his 70s with light symp­toms and a child un­der age 10 with no symp­toms — say­ing both had been pas­sen­gers on the ship.

A third pas­sen­ger will be tested to­day, the city said. Trond­heim sits about half­way to Trom­soe, north of the Arc­tic Circle, where the empty ship is docked.

But since the cruise line of­ten acts like a local ferry, trav­el­ling from port to port along Nor­way’s west coast, some pas­sen­gers dis­em­barked along the route and may have spread the virus to local com­mu­ni­ties.

A to­tal of 69 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in Nor­way could have been af­fected, Nor­we­gian news agency NTB re­ported on Mon­day.

The Hur­tigruten cruise line was one of the first com­pa­nies to re­sume sail­ing dur­ing the pan­demic, start­ing cruises to Nor­way out of north­ern Ger­many in June with a sin­gle ship, then adding cruises in July to the Arc­tic ar­chi­pel­ago of Sval­bard that is part of the Scan­di­na­vian coun­try.

In Trom­soe, 41 pas­sen­gers who had tested pos­i­tive have been ad­mit­ted to a hos­pi­tal. The cruise line said it sus­pended the ship and two oth­ers — the MS Fridtjof Nansen and the MS Spits­ber­gen — from op­er­at­ing.

It’s not clear how the MS Roald Amund­sen out­break be­gan. NTB re­ported that 33 of the in­fected crew mem­bers came from the Philip­pines and the oth­ers were from Nor­way, France and Ger­many. The pas­sen­gers were from all over the world.

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