Covid cases increasing on cruise ships?
FN reports on the cruise ship “AIDAmar” returning to the Port of Funchal to drop off a sick passenger. This time, it was the evacuation of an elderly passenger, who suffered a fall on the stairs and fractured her arm.
It arrived yesterday at the south pier, in Pontinha, at 11:45 am, after a few hours at sea. At about 1:30 pm, she set out again to Tenerife. In the previous evacuation, a few days earlier, the cruise ship also did not dock, staying off.
FN observe that generally in these emergency cases, an Air Force helicopter is used, in an operation costing between €20,000 – 25,000, depending on the distance at which the ship is located. In this case, the cruise ship chose to return.
This case was an emergency due to trauma, but FN has been told that cases of COVID-19 have increased on board the liners and that the Mein Schiffs even had passengers and crew banned from disembarking on board. This is supported by unsubstantiated reports that tour companies operating in the port of Funchal have been asked to discourage passengers on tours from circulating whilst they travel around the island.
Mein Schiff 4
Yesterday afternoon, the cruise ship ‘Mein Schiff 4’ arrived at the Port of Funchal, in yet another stopover between the Canary Islands and Madeira.
The ship, inaugurated in June 2015, has a capacity for 2,506 passengers, has 9 restaurants and bistros, another 15 bars and lounges, also guarantees a running course of 280 metres and an exterior 25-metre swimming pool.
The ship came from Arrecife and leaves in the late afternoon, at 5:00 pm, for the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, after about 24 hours docked at the south pier.
The next stopover at the Port of Funchal will take place tomorrow, with the return of the ‘MSC Splendida’, which will dock at 9 am from Tenerife and depart at 5 pm towards the Mediterranean, more precisely to the port of Malaga.
By the end of this month, in the absence of any change or cancellation, a total of 28 stopovers will take place at the Port of Funchal, one of which will pass through the Port of Porto Santo.
The port of Funchal for about a year imposed “blocking” measures at the entrance of these cruisers, some of which were parked in the Canaries, which only passed through here to see and smell the “promised land” from a distance.
Today is to face it, because we are no longer returning to the past. That catchphrase “health care first” has ceased to be so and the economy now occupies a prominent place, no matter who it hurts.
FN concludes that while the misfortunes of our neighbours have become a tourist attraction, with most of the ships passing through here heading to the island of “La Palma” and the sight of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, Madeira receives tourists for health care… The lady who fell and her husband are understood to be in a private hospital.
More information available in the States
In America, currently, the Centers for Disease Control outlines the rules and requirements for cruise ships sailing from the United States under its Conditional Sailing Order. This includes everything from policies for testing crew members to what to do if there are cases on a ship to rules surrounding masking and distancing.
In addition, the health agency publishes regular updates about the status of cases on cruise ships using a colour-coded table. While it doesn’t provide actual numbers of cases, it does tell the public which ships have possibly had bouts of the virus. This gives insight into what’s happening on all the ships either sailing or planning to sail from the United States.
Data from November 9 (posted November 10) shows 15 of 88 ships the CDC tracks have “non-green” status, indicating the possibility of COVID cases during the past seven days.
Travel latest: requirements for entering and leaving Madeira: is kept up-to-date on a previous post