Some Vincentian Carnival Glory crew already at their houses

By Demion McTair. Updated 6:02 p.m., Saturday May 9, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – Some Vincentian crew who arrived in the country today (May 9), on Carnival Glory have been transported to their respective homes.

The family members of several repatriated crew workers from three communities on the mainland, were contacted by One News SVG and confirmed that their loved ones had arrived home in these communities safely.

Family members for three sailors told One News SVG that buses from the Ministry of Health transported their loved ones home.

All of the family members said they were “happy” and “thankful to God” for their loved ones return. The sailors will operate under quarantine for 14-days, their relatives told One News SVG.

One News SVG reached out to officials from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment for comment but no details have been released.

All ninety-one 91 Vincentian crew workers who arrived in the country today (May 9), on the Carnival Glory were tested for Covid-19.

A source has told One News SVG that all 91 crew members tested negative for Covid-19. But, no official information has been received from the Ministry of Health to that effect.

A post by the Agency for Public Information (API), Saturday night, stated that ninety-three (93) Vincentian sailors came had arrived. (Updated 8:22 p.m., AST).

It is also not immediately clear if any of the sailors will be quarantined at hotels or guest houses.

SEARCHLIGHT Newspaper reported today, that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said “Carnival Glory began rapid testing all 91 sailors for Covid-19 at 6 am today”.

“Before they come off, the test results will be presented to [the CMO],” the Prime Minister said. “So, if they are tested negative, they will go to their respective homes. Anybody who is positive, … will be isolated at the expense of Carnival,” he said, adding that he told Marie McKenzie, a Carnival Cruise Line vice president that if the number of positives is “in the region of 10, 12, 15 percent, a different ball game arises.” – SEARCHLIGHT reported.

“Explaining the testing process, the CMO said the results provided by Carnival will be verified through independent testing of a sample of the results using local rapid test kits” – the report added.

The development brings an end to the long wait for repatriation for the 91 sailors who, for weeks have been on the seas, pending return home.

The cruise industry has come to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

US-based Cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean have had to resort to using their ships to repatriate their crew members to many countries around the world.

This is due to stringent requirements from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on disembarkation protocols, to which can lead to imprisonment of ship executives, if breached.

The development with the CDC has ruled out repatriation by air as that would require crew leaving the ships to board flights.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is expected to repatriate Vincentian crew workers later this month in similar fashion as the Carnival Glory.

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