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TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 6 rerouted to Piraeus on Tuesday after the results of a sample testing of the crew (150 of the ship’s 666 workers) indicated that 12 employees were positive but asymptomatic for COVID-19, the Associated Press reported.
The Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship is docked at Piraeus port, near Athens, early Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Greek authorities say 12 crew members on a Maltese-flagged cruise ship carrying more than 1,500 people on a Greek islands tour have tested positive for coronavirus and have been isolated on board. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
From there, the Maltese-flagged vessel docked in Greece’s largest port, where access to healthcare services was more readily available. Health authorities responded to the cruise ship after it moored to retest the 12 crew members, as well as 24 other workers whom they had been in contact with; the 36 workers immediately began isolating when officials learned of the possible coronavirus threat.
On Tuesday, Gkikas Magiorkinis, a member of the government’s pandemic expert committee, announced that all 36 people tested negative using rapid and confirmatory tests, per the outlet.
A passenger can be seen outside her cabin on the Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship which docked at Piraeus port, near Athens, on Tuesday, amid a coronavirus scare. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
“So there is now no concern over this particular cruise ship,” Magiorkinis said. “We also tested surfaces on the ship and all surfaces tested are negative.”
The Mein Schiff 6 remained in Piraeus overnight, and is expected to set sail again on Wednesday, pending the formal notification of the health inspection to port authorities, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.
The ship is expected to resume its voyage on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
The cruise ship departed Heraklion in Crete on Sunday, with 922 passengers aboard for a tour of Piraeus, Athens, and the western island of Corfu. All guests had taken coronavirus tests before boarding.
“The safety of the guests, the crew, but also the Greek population is the top priority for TUI Cruises,” Wybcke Meier, CEO of the cruise line, said in a statement shared with Fox News. “I would like to thank all the responsible authorities for their good and professional cooperation in connection with the unclear test results on board Mein Schiff 6.”
Greece has reported over 18,000 coronavirus cases and confirmed 388 virus-related deaths, though officials say these statistics undercount the pandemic’s true numbers because of missed cases and limited testing.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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