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After ‘cruise to nowhere’ returns early, Singapore says passenger does not have Covid

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Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas cruise ship docked at Singapore’s Marina Bay Cruise Centre on Dec. 9, 2020.

Rosanna Lockwood | CNBC

SINGAPORE — The Singaporean passenger who examined constructive for Covid-19 onboard a cruise ship has subsequently examined adverse for the illness, in response to Singapore’s well being ministry.

The passenger, an 83-year-old man, was aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas which set sail on Dec. 7 for a spherical journey to the city-state with no port of name in between. The ship was compelled to return on Wednesday, a day sooner than scheduled, after the passenger went by means of a Polymerase Chain Response (PCR) take a look at on the cruise liner which returned constructive for Covid-19.

PCR checks have been used extensively to detect circumstances as they’re correct of their analysis, however outcomes take hours to return.

“His unique pattern has since been re-tested on the Nationwide Public Well being Laboratory (NPHL), and has come again adverse for (Covid-19) an infection. A second contemporary pattern examined by NPHL has additionally come again adverse,” the Ministry of Well being stated Wednesday evening, including that one other take a look at could be carried out the subsequent day to verify his Covid-19 standing.

On Thursday afternoon, the well being ministry stated the passenger doesn’t have Covid-19.

“The pattern taken from the person this morning got here again adverse for the virus. This follows two Polymerase Chain Response (PCR) checks carried out yesterday by NPHL, one on a re-test of his unique pattern, and the opposite on a contemporary pattern taken yesterday, which had additionally come again adverse,” the well being ministry stated in its day by day preliminary replace of Covid-19 circumstances within the city-state.

“Now we have rescinded the Quarantine Orders of his shut contacts, who had earlier been positioned on quarantine as a precautionary measure whereas investigations had been ongoing,” the well being ministry added in its assertion.

The passenger was taken to the Nationwide Centre for Infectious Illnesses at 2:30 p.m. Singapore time on Wednesday, in response to the Singapore Tourism Board.

The tourism board added that every one 1,680 passengers and 1,148 crew on board had examined adverse for the virus previous to the ship’s departure. Passengers and crew members who got here into shut contact with the affected person had been remoted, whereas different passengers underwent necessary testing earlier than being allowed to depart the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, the place the ship is docked.

In a separate assertion, Royal Caribbean stated its whole crew will bear PCR checks on Thursday, whereas the ship will likely be deep cleaned and disinfected.

A 4-night cruise that was scheduled to depart Thursday was canceled, the cruise operator stated.

The coronavirus pandemic has hammered the worldwide journey and tourism sectors this yr, together with the cruise trade.

Singapore’s “cruise to nowhere” program is an try to bolster journey demand in the course of the pandemic. To take part, cruise liners must acquire a compulsory security certification and will likely be subjected to an audit earlier than they’re allowed to begin crusing.

Solely two operators, the Royal Caribbean and Genting Cruise Strains, are crusing from Singapore below this program.

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