On Monday, 3 January, 66 people have tested positive for COVID-19 on a Mumbai-Goa cruise ship with more than 2,000 people on board. The passengers on the Goa-bound ship have not been allowed to disembark.
“The ship authorities are continuously urging people to wear masks and follow all COVID protocols, however, many are still too careless,” one of the passengers aboard the cruise ship told The Quint on the condition of anonymity.
One COVID-infected crew member was first isolated and RT-PCR tests of 1,471 passengers and 595 crew members were conducted on Sunday, 2 January.
'Passengers Complacent, Entertainment Event to be Held'
Parwez Siddiqui, who has relatives on board, said, “My daughter and son-in-law are on the cruise ship. I have been told that all the staff and crew members are very supportive. However, it is infuriating for passengers to be stuck on board a cruise ship for so long. There are families with children who are on the cruise amid the COVID scare.”
The testing for COVID-19 started at around 9:30 am on 2 January and went on till at least 1 am, on Monday, 3 January, he informed. While all the passengers were expected to get their test results on Monday, over 2,000 people are still awaiting their results, Siddiqui said.
"Crew members and the management on the cruise have announced an 'entertainment programme’ at 6 pm today, 3 January," Siddiqui told The Quint.
“What is the need for such an event amid a COVID scare on the cruise?” he asked.
Passengers on board the ship have confirmed that the cruise authorities are conducting the entertainment programme with all COVID protocols in place. Passengers will be permitted to attend the event only in batches.
Ship at Mormugao Port, To Leave for Mumbai at 8 pm
At present, the ship is harbored near Mormugao Port cruise terminal in Vasco and is scheduled to leave for Mumbai at 8 pm.
The Mumbai Port Trust had not permitted the cruise to dock in Goa. Once docked on the Mumbai port, the passengers will undergo one more RTPCR test.
The ship had earlier tied up with Salgaonkar Medical Research Centre (SMRC) Hospital, a private hospital in Vasco, for COVID testing for all the people on board the cruise ship.
Officials further ordered that no one should de-board the ship before the RT-PCR test results are declared.