Photo: Ivonne Malaver / EFE
All cruise ships that are operating in the United States with passengers are under investigation from the health authorities after reporting contagion of COVID-19 in the last week due to the rebound in the pandemic due to the omicron strain.
At least 94 cruise ships are under investigation as of Thursday, according to the updated report on the pandemic published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Last Thursday the CDC raised its travel advisory for cruise ships to the highest level and urged to avoid these ships, even vaccinated people.
They asked travelers who are at higher risk of contracting serious diseases from COVID-19 to avoid traveling on cruise ships, including riverine, around the world, “regardless of vaccination status.”
The 94 ships are under a “yellow” alert from the CDC because in the last 7 days at least 0.10% of the passengers had contagion of COVID-19 or symptoms of the virus (for example, if out of 6,500 passengers on board there are at least 7 of those cases).
This percentage includes passenger cases that occur within 5 days of disembarkation and reported to the CDC by state or local health departments.
For its part, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 90% of companies with ocean cruises, called the CDC’s decision to increase the alert level for cruise travel as “disconcerting.”
Noted that the cases identified on cruise ships constitute “a very small minority of the total population on board, much less than on land, and most of these cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, which represents little or no burden for medical resources on board or ashore ”.
“No environment can be immune to this virus,” CLIA said in a statement.
He added that cruise ships provide “one of the highest levels of demonstrated mitigation against the virus.”
According to the CDC, the virus “spreads easily between people in confined spaces on board ships, and the possibility of contracting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose of the vaccine. “
Shipping companies such as Norwegian have been forced to cancel their itineraries due to the rebound in the pandemic due to the highly contagious omicrom variant.
The Miami-based company announced on Wednesday the cancellation and modification of almost a dozen itineraries scheduled until next April.
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