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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Second Princess cruise ship held over virus “links”



PHOTO: The Grand Princess enters San Fancisco Bay - File Photo

After the nearly month-long ordeal of the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan on which more than 700 Covid-19 coronavius cases were confirmed, now a second Princess Cruises ship, the Grand Princess, is reportedly being held off San Francisco after authorities discovered “links” to the virus onboard.

According to the Los Angeles Times the liner returned to San Francisco on Wednesday, and is currently being held there as authorities test 11 passengers and 10 crew with coronavirus symptoms.

Passengers interviewed by the paper say Princess Cruises was lax with health screenings before boarding the ship and did not inform customers of risks.

California’s governor declared a statewide emergency Wednesday after the state’s first coronavirus death, a 71 year old passenger with preexisting medical conditions, who was exposed to the virus while on board. A second passenger from the Grand Princess has been hospitalized with the virus.

The governor confirmed that about half of the 2,500 passengers on board the Grand Princess Californians, and says health authorities are trying to track down those people.

Princess Cruises released a statement saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it is investigating a cluster of cases involving the ship. The company said it is working alongside the federal agency for aid.

“We are working in support of the California Health Department that’s in the process of evaluating another cruise ship where they do have confirmed cases,”

“We’re at the very beginning of that, looking at the manifest to make sure we understand who’s gotten off the cruise and where they got off the cruise, and we’re really involved in that entire contact follow up as we speak.”

The governor says the ship will remain offshore until all passengers at risk are tested for the coronavirus. Several passengers interviewed by the Times say they learned about their situation from the media before any announcements were made by the crew.

“I found out from CNN.”

As of today, California has confirmed 63 cases of the virus.

SOURCES: The Hill | Johns Hopkins CSSE


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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