Coronavirus-Hit Grand Princess to Dock at Oakland Port, Disembark Passengers

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Costa Fortuna heads for Singapore after being denied entry in 2 countries
WMN..A cruise ship with coronavirus patients prepares to come ashore after it received permission by US authorities to dock in Oakland.
The 107,517 gross ton Grand Princess, operated by US cruise line Princess Cruises, has been stranded off the coast of San Francisco for several days due to the coronavirus outbreak onboard the vessel.
Out of more than 3,500 people aboard the cruise ship, 21 have been tested positive for COVID-19, the first phase of health screenings showed on Friday.
“Disembarkation will commence in order of priority, as defined and directed by both state and local authorities. It is expected to be a multiple day process,” Princess Cruises said in an update.
“The U.S. Coast Guard will be sending California Health & Human Services teams to assist with medical triage, screening and interviews, and prioritizing those who require the most acute care. To avoid delays, testing will be conducted when guests arrive at their onward destination.”
The ship will only be docked during the duration of disembarkment and passengers will not be released into the general public, according to a statement released by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
“Passengers who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization will be transported to health care facilities in California. If passengers do not require acute medical care following health screenings, those who are California residents will go to a federally run isolation facility within California for testing and isolation, while non-Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states,” the statement further reads.
Following the completion of the disembarkation, the crew will remain onboard and Grand Princess will depart Oakland. It will remain elsewhere for the duration of the crew’s quarantine.
As explained, Oakland was selected as the best site for the ship to disembark as there are limited docks that will be able to accommodate a ship of that size. In addition, the Port of Oakland location was the easiest to seal off, securely move passengers toward their isolation destinations and protect the safety of the public.
On March 7 and 8, two Grand Princess passengers with medical conditions not related to COVID-19 were successfully medevaced, the US Coast Guard separately. informed
Following a 14-day cruise to Hawaii, the 290-meter-long Grand Princess was ordered to remain off the Californian coast after one of the ship’s passengers had been infected with coronavirus and later died….reports World Maritime News.
Meanwhile, Costa Fortuna cruise ship will dock in Singapore on March 10 after it was turned away from ports in Thailand and Malaysia over coronavirus scare.
This was confirmed by Italian cruise line Costa Cruises as well as the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA Singapore) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
During the past few days, the ship was not allowed to call in Thailand and Malaysia because of the restrictions recently introduced in those countries for people coming from Italy.
“Costa Fortuna is heading towards Singapore where it is due to end its cruise on March 10 as planned,” Costa Cruises said.
“Costa Crociere wishes to confirm that the health situation on board the ship does not present any issue,” the cruise line stressed.
“The doctor on board the cruise ship will check on passengers and crew in order to ensure that they are healthy prior to disembarkation,” MPA Singapore said in a separate statement.
“All passengers entering Singapore are required to undergo temperature screening as a precautionary measure. Additionally, passengers entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness but who do not meet the Ministry of Health’s clinical case definition may be required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test,” MPA added.
All of Costa Fortuna passengers had earlier embarked from Singapore and completed pre-embarkation checks prior to boarding. The ship, which is homeported in Singapore, last departed the port on March 3.
Singapore’s cruise terminals remain open to scheduled cruise calls out of Singapore. Over the past two weeks, Singapore has handled more than 10 scheduled calls by cruise ships and disembarked more than 5,000 passengers. Unscheduled calls have been forbidden in Singapore since February 24.
Costa Cruises also informed it would cancel the next cruise of Costa Fortuna due to depart on March 10 from Singapore.
“The decision was deemed necessary on the basis of the restrictive measures currently applied by ports included in the ship’s itinerary,” the cruise company explained…reports World Maritime News.


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