Covid Cruises is the New Thing: this time, fully-and-boosted passengers and crew off Dubai had to shorten their Persian Gulf trip because of…a Covid outbreak
As reported by German media, here's yet another incident that shows the marvels of 'vaccine efficacy' (not), which should make govt's re-think their policies towards 'the unvaxxed'
It has happened before, and it was bound to happen again before too long: another ‘outbreak’ of Covid-19 in a confined (controlled) setting among only ‘vaccinated’ and/or ‘boosted’ people, as reported by German legacy media outlet Bild a couple of days ago:
Instead of spending New Year's Eve on the high seas, it’s a return ticket back home. Following a Covid-19 outbreak on the world’s best cruise ship, the MS ‘Europa 2’ of Hamburg-based shipping line Hapag-Lloyd, the 19-day New Year's Eve voyage from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Mauritius will be cut short.
While itself a couple of days old, this piece is pure (fool’s) gold, in particular as it allows me to continue my hitherto one-part series on ships and Covid—and I’ve got another one on this topic in the pipeline.
Here’s more about the ‘incident’ (my emphases):
The vessel left Dubai on 18 Dec. with 280 guests and 380 crew members (all fully vaccinated) and is now returning to its port of departure. At least five crew members are reportedly affected, and an as-yet-unnamed number of passengers have also fallen ill. ‘The affected passengers are doing well and have no or only mild symptoms’, a statement from the shipping company said. Rumors that the captain has also fallen ill are denied by the shipping company, which said, ‘the captain has tested negative’.
On board, all those who tested positive and those who tested negative were separated from passengers who were not ill. Self-service at the buffets was stopped.
This is excellent stuff to consider: cruise ship crew members are typically (much) younger than their guests, hence this piece adds another puzzling detail on how vaccine efficacy works (until it doesn’t, apparently) among younger age brackets.
Back to the piece, which further informs us that Covid-positive passengers (and crew members) were put in isolation and, upon disembarking, had to continue their vacation in one of Dubai’s quarantine hotels. That latter aspect points to the fact that, with self-service buffets already ended upon the Covid outbreak, there was not that much disruption from daily routines involved.
Also, this was not a singular occurrence (doh), as the closing paragraph shows:
TUI’s second luxury cruise ship, the [original] MS ‘Europa’, also experienced several positive Covid-19 cases among passengers and crew. The ship also canceled its New Year’s Eve voyage to Mauritius and the Maldives, and instead it will now return with 240 passengers and 280 crew members to Dubai to disembark the passengers.
Third time’s a charm, I guess, for yesterday Covidistan media mentioned yet another Covid-19 outbreak aboard cruise vessels off the Portuguese coast:
Thousands of cruise ship passengers on their way home again…TUI Cruises said that operations had been interrupted for a few days in Dubai as a purely precautionary measure because of isolated cases of corona among passengers and crew on ‘Mein Schiff 6’. The voyage itself ended on schedule, a spokeswoman said. The fleet comprises seven ships, of which five are currently in service, she said.
This means, first and foremost, that a third of TUI’s currently operating five ships is involved. In other words: TUI Cruises has a staggeringly high Covid-19 outbreak rate—the first incidence was reported on 28 Dec., that latter piece is from 3 Jan., i.e., the seven-day incidence of Covid-19 outbreaks among their ships is 60%. (/sarcasm)
From Der Standard:
Aida Cruises also decided to stop the voyage of the ‘Aidanova’ in Lisbon after a number of infections and not continue as planned until Wednesday [5 Jan. 2022] towards the Canary Islands. ‘The affected persons are doing well, they have no or only mild symptoms’, a statement said.
In that latter piece, we also see how far self-identifying legacy media has been corrupted by big business interests, for that short piece ends on this note (my emphases):
Despite the current Covid outbreaks, the international cruise industry association Clia continues to regard cruises as safe. The ‘2G-plus’ [vaxxed or recovered plus a PCR test] or even ‘1G-plus rule’ [vaxxed plus a PCR test] applies on all ships, it said. This means [a Clia spokesman said] that for ‘2G-plus’, booster vaccination is a prerequisite to board the ship; for ‘1G-plus’, i.e., only vaccinated persons, even recovered status is not sufficient. In addition, passengers would have to undergo a PCR test immediately before the start of the voyage, and tests would also be carried out during the voyage.
You see, it’s a nice holiday trip towards a ‘new normal’ of…what exactly? Continued harassment and, given the continuous testing regime aboard, certainly a welcome break from the mundane travails of daily life.
Also: more on Covid-19 outbreaks on ships full of vaccinated people coming soon.