Passengers disembark from Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas due to COVID detection

Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas had to disembark all passengers after a suspected COVID-19 case was detected on board. The suspected cause is an 83-year-old Singaporean male, who reported to the onboard medical center with diarrhea in the late evening of 8 December. He was given a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test as per onboard protocols and tested positive. He was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and is undergoing further tests. His original sample has since been retested and has come back negative for COVID-19 infection. A second fresh sample tested has also come back negative. A third test will be conducted tomorrow to confirm his COVID-19 status.

In line with the existing emergency response plans for pilot cruises, contact tracing began immediately after the positive test result, and all onboard leisure activities ceased. Passengers were also asked to remain in their rooms, while close contacts of the suspected case were identified and isolated. The ship – which had 1,680 passengers and 1,148 crew onboard – immediately cut short its itinerary and returned to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore at 8.30 am on 9 December.

As part of existing infection control protocols, the remaining passengers and crew on board had to remain on the ship until contact tracing was completed. This was also to prevent any intermingling between passengers or crew from Quantum of the Seas and Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream, which arrived at the same terminal at 9 am. Disembarkation commenced when contact tracing for the suspected case and embarkation of passengers for World Dream’s next sailing was completed.

All passengers will undergo a mandatory Antigen Rapid Test at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore upon disembarkation. This is in line with regular protocols for arriving passengers. Deep-cleaning is also being carried out onboard the ship as part of CruiseSafe guidelines.

As a further precautionary measure, passengers are also required to monitor their health for 14 days from the date of disembarkation and undergo a swab test at a designated government swabbing facility at the end of the monitoring period. Close contacts of the positive case who are identified and tested negative for COVID-19 will be sent to a designated government quarantine facility.

Source – Singapore Tourism Board

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