60% of Artic Cruise Passengers Test Positive for Coronavirus

According to CNN.com, of 217 people aboard an Arctic cruise ship, the Greg Mortimer, 128 have tested positive for COVID-19. The situation is so desperate that the ship has been unable to disembark its passengers and has been on hold off the coast of Uruguay for several days. Uruguayan authorities have taken only six passengers from the ship, those who required urgent medical attention.

Like so many cruise ships before it, after coronavirus struck the Greg Mortimer the ship’s authorities were shown to have been severely unprepared. Even the ship’s doctor got sick, resulting in the company “organizing a back-up volunteer medic” CNN.com reports. Even that dire turn of events did not prompt Uruguayan authorities to allows the ship to dock. Instead, the country will allow New Zealander and Australian citizens to board a charter flight later in the week. But other passengers will have to wait. 

The report says that European and American passengers will have to stay aboard the ship until they test negative for the virus, after which they may be able to go home through Brazil. 

“While our preferred plan had been to disembark all passengers simultaneously, the nature of the situation and the difficultly in securing flights has meant it is likely that the Australian and New Zealand passengers will leave the vessel before our European (UK included) and North American passengers,” the company said in a statement.