Cruise

Vasco da Gama passengers finally disembark, as German ship confirms 41 coronavirus cases

Vasco da Gama has finally offloaded its passengers after 13 days in limbo.

The Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) ship was supposed to disembark in Fremantle on Friday but was denied by the Premier.

Passengers were screened by the Department of Health on Saturday, including temperature checks and four random COVID-19 checks, all of which returned negative results.

Passengers from New Zealand departed on Sunday morning and on Sunday afternoon CMV received details of the transfers for the 197 Western Australian passengers who will self-isolate on Rottnest Island.

All remaining Australian passengers from interstate were transferred to hotels around Perth on Monday.

“Although it took almost five days to receive details of these passenger arrangements since the WA Premier’s initial media announcement, at least we have now been able to let our guests know what the next steps are for them,” said Dean Brazier, managing director of CMV Australia.

Australian Border Force has advised that Vasco da Gama must leave Australian waters as soon as possible and that its 552-strong crew will not be allowed to take flights home. The ship and crew departed Fremantle for London, Tilbury with no passengers on board on Monday night.

Meanwhile, a German cruise ship docked in Western Australia has now confirmed 41 cases of COVID-19.

The Artania docked in Fremantle last Thursday with 800 passengers and 600 crew onboard, mostly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland after reporting a medical emergency unrelated to the virus.

29 of these patients were transferred to Joondalup Private Hospital in Perth yesterday, with nine others taken to a public hospital in Perth for treatment on over the weekend, ABC News reported.

The remaining passengers have returned to Germany on specially charted flights.

ABC News also reported 62 of Western Australias’ 255 cases of COVID-19 had come from cruise ships.

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