Government still looking for passengers from cruise ship where people tested positive for Covid-19

The government is trying to trace some passengers who were aboard the MSC Orchestra on a cruise to Mozambique.
The government is trying to trace some passengers who were aboard the MSC Orchestra on a cruise to Mozambique.
Image: MSC Cruises

The transport and health departments have, for weeks now, struggled to find people who were on board the MSC Orchestra cruise liner where two people tested positive for Covid-19.

This came to light on Monday when the transport department announced that it was “currently” working with the department of health to trace the individuals.

The MSC Orchestra left the port of Durban on March 16 with 2,800 passengers and 900 crew aboard for picturesque Pomene, Mozambique — a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a raft of measures to quell the spread of the coronavirus.

Many of the passengers aboard the vessel were South African.

A maritime update statement by minister Fikile Mbalula's office on Monday said the search was on.

“MSC Orchestra — [we are] currently working with the department of health to trace passengers following confirmation of positive test results for two individuals who cruised on February 28 and March, 16,” the statement read.

The ministry also announced Covid-19 testing conducted on other cruise liners.

These include:

  • AIDAmira — docked in Cape Town on March 16 after a Covid-19 scare involving six AIDAmira passengers and two MV Corona bulk carrier crew, all of whom tested negative for the coronavirus.
  • Arcadia — docked in Durban on March 26. After Covid-19 test results came out negative for 13 asymptomatic individuals on board, the vessel docked to refuel and restock provisions, and to allow six South African crew members to disembark and return home.
  • The Queen Mary 2 — docked in Durban on March 31 and disembarked six South African crew members, all of whom tested negative for Covid-19.

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