Yesterday we blogged that 4 crew members aboard the MS Roald Amundsen cruise ship had tested positive for coronavirus. The Roald Amundsen is owned by Norwegian cruise company Hurtigruten, and is one of the first cruise ships to return to service since the coronavirus pandemic sidelined the industry in March. Today the true nature of the outbreak is coming into greter focus, and the number of infected is significantly higher than originally reported.
At least 33 crew members on the MS Roald Amundsen cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus, days after nearly 200 passengers disembarked. https://t.co/7XJ4kK3Lw0— euronews (@euronews) August 1, 2020
USAToday.com reports that 36 crewmembers aboard the Roald Amundsen have tested positive for coronavirus and authorities think that the outbreak may have begun during previous voyages. If so, passengers from those voyages may have contracted the virus and begun spreading it as they returned home, increasing the possibility of a greater contagion.
Hurtigruten is currently contacting passengers who sailed on the Roald Amundsen's voyages that departed on July 17, which carried 209 passengers and July 24, which carried 178 passengers.
In a statement, Hurtigruten's vice president of global communications Rune Thomas Ege said that the company is "work[ing] closely with the Norwegian national and local health authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking."
The Roald Amundsen's fate comes at the most inopportune time for the cruise industry. Cruise companies are desperately attempting to return to operations even as the virus surges.