The Italian newspaper, Il Secolo XIX, reports that a 78-year-old man, described as a French citizen, was disembarked in Naples, Italy on October 14 from the Costa Diadema. The guest tested positive for COVID-19 after he was swabbed aboard the ship. He was transported by private ambulance to the “Covid Hospital of the San Giuseppe Moscati hospital.” The newspaper stated that he was in a medical condition defined as “worrying” by the doctors. Ship Mag reported that the “man was hospitalized in serious condition but would not be in danger of life.”

There is some inconsitency between the Italian newspapers in describing the guest’s medical condition. Il Secolo XIX say that the doctors described his condition as “worrying” but reports that he has “fever and other mild symptoms compatible with Covid.”

After disembarking the ill guest, the Costa Diadema then left the port of Naples on the evening of Wednesday October 14th and arrived in Genoa, Italy today.

Yesterday, we reported that seven passengers from this Costa cruise ship who had disembarked in Palermo tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. Italian health authorities then requested that all crew members on the ship undergo swab testing when the ship was in Genoa. The test of the crew members were reportedly negative for the virus.

Costa claims that it is following its “strenuous” safety protocols, which the cruise line says “go beyond” the existing requirements of the Italian Health Authority. Costa does not explain how or why the passenger apparently passed his initial test for the virus and then tested positive for COVID-19 during the middle of the cruise. Costa had originally stated that it prematurely terminated the cruise in question because of “the epidemiological situation in France” which is showing a surge in positive COVID-19 cases.  Costa did not mention either the seven former passengers who previously tested positive for COV-19, or this latest ill passenger, as affecting its decision to end the cruise prematurely.

Costa released a press statement to a journalist in the U.K. after we reported on the seven former passengers who tested positive and Costa’s decision to end the Costa Diadema’s current cruise early. But Costa did not mention that another passenger, the 78 year old French guest, has already been disembarked to the hospital in Naples for treatment of COVID-19.

Costa needs to transparently state why a total now of eight guests, who initially tested negative for the virus, later tested positive for COVID-19? Has it performed contact tracing to determine who these passengers came into contact with on the cruise? How were they infected and who did they infect?  Did these positive tests influence the cruise line in ending the cruise prematurely? Is there any basis to believe the eight positive tests were actually false positives?

As we have repeatedly stated, there is currently a surge in COVID-19 cases in Europe, including Italy. Is Costa reconsidering this type of non-essential travel and congregating of people on cruise ships during this deadly pandemic?

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Photo credit: Top – Costa Diadema – top – Z Thomas – CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia; bottom – Ship Mag.