Kiwis aboard coronavirus-stricken cruise ship to return home with Australian assistance

08 Avril, 2020, 15:21 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The MV Greg Mortimer

A spokesman for Uruguay's Foreign Ministry said the ministry reached an agreement with Australia for a charter flight to arrive on Thursday (local time) to take the 96 Australian passengers and 16 New Zealanders aboard the Greg Mortimer cruise ship to Melbourne.

Another person was brought ashore on Sunday night, wheeled to a waiting ambulance.

More than a dozen Kiwis stuck on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship off the coast of Uruguay will return home to New Zealand, on the receiving end of some ANZAC spirit in their bid to get home.

He also says while he has tested negative his roommate in the ship's cabin tested positive.

The situation on board the ships rapidly transformed from holiday to misery for passengers, many of whom booked and paid for the journeys long before the virus began spreading late past year.

"We are in talks with the Australian government to have this flight organised as quickly as possible", said Talvi.

Those who tested positive must wait until they test negative before flying home.

"There are many patients over the age of 70, some of them have comorbidities, heart and lung diseases", she added.

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"A total of 117 deaths have been reported so far including 8 deaths reported since yesterday", he added. Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, Chief Scientist of ICMR, said 107,006 tests have been conducted so far.

"We found a ship where nearly everyone has been infected", said Karina Rando, one of 21 Uruguayan doctors dispatched to the ship.

"Those patients can relapse tomorrow although we have seen them to be well today".

Yancev said the initial source of contagion was likely the port of Ushuaia, a starting point for many Antarctic cruises, where the ship's crew had shore leave.

"We have made it clear that the ill health and the isolation of the crew is making it hard to maintain the same standard of essential services onboard", Aurora Expeditions told passengers on 2nd of April.

The company said it was seeking the assistance of the Australian government for help with those who were asymptomatic or who had only mild symptoms.

USA and European passengers who tested negative will hopefully be able to depart later in the week, following a second test and permission from the Uruguayan government, Aurora Expeditions said.

This would require passengers to disembark in three groups, those who had tested negative for Covid-19 and were well, those who were positive but either recovering or with vague symptoms and those who are ill.

For those who were ill, it said, "we are working with the Uruguayan Health Ministry and its medical director to develop the best plan to have them cared for and returned to their home countries as soon as their health allows".

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