For the past several weeks, as the remaining cruise ship passengers were finally being brought ashore from their ships, we have begun to cover the plight of the crew members who remain aboard the vessels. Due to lack of contact, there has been scant reporting about the crew members' health statuses. But if one recent report is an indication, crew members might be in serious trouble.
USAToday.com reports that approximately 150 crew members aboard the Costa Atlantica cruise ship have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The ship currently has approximately 632 people aboard, meaning that about 25% have tested positive for the virus.
In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, crew members have been staying one person to a cabin. Crew members in protective gear have been serving their quarantined colleagues in their rooms.
On Monday Costa Cruises spokesperson Roger Frizzell said: "The health and safety of our people, along with compliance and environmental protection, is always our utmost priority, and we have been constantly monitoring the health of our colleagues on board during the ships' stay in Japan."
So far only one person has been able to leave the ship, and it is not clear when those aboard will be able to disembark. Japanese officials are currently planning to repatriate the healthy people aboard the ship, but as of yet have not announced any concrete plans to get them home.
The Costa Atlantica is currently docked at Nagasaki, Japan, where it has been positioned since January 29 when it called on the port for repairs.