Several news outlets in Spain and other European countries reported last week that several passengers aboard the MSC Grandiosa tested positive for COVID-19. The cases have apparently not been reported in the U.S. press.
Three Passengers Test Positive As the MSC Grandiosa Returns to Spain
The Europa Press states that three passengers tested positive for the virus, including two residents of Barcelona, where the cruise ship returned after the cruise, and one resident of Zaragoza. These three individuals are now quarantining outside the cruise ship. They reportedly do not have symptoms.
The positive results were reportedly detected by antigen tests that were carried out on last Friday, July 2, 2021.
Fourteen other people were determined to be had close contact with the three infected passengers via tracking bracelets, however subsequent tests for these individuals were negative, so they do not have to quarantined.
MSC Says No Problem, Everything Worked As Planned
The cruise line issued a press release indicating that “that the protocols have worked “perfectly and strictly.”
It’s Not the First Time the MSC Grandiosa Tested Positive for Coronavirus
The Italian press reported that the MSC Grandiosa experienced a positive test result for COVID-19 involving a passenger last February.
The Big Picture – Expect More Positive Cases in the Future
Since cruising was shut down in March of 2020, there have been at least 243 cases of COVID-19 on cruise ships in addition to an undisclosed number of crew members on the Queen Elizabeth who tested positive last week. To date, Cunard has refused to state the total number of crew members who tested positive. Cunard suspended cruises which were scheduled to begin on July 19, 2021.
As cruise lines continue to resume cruise operations, there will be regular reports by newspapers which learn of outbreaks on ships.
A couple of positive COVID cases on one ship, a few on another ship, five to eight cases on another – this will be the pattern as long as cruise lines continue to resume operations during a pandemic. The news accounts will mention the positive cases but will invariably stop short of explaining whether the symptomatic guests require medical treatment, or how they respond to medical intervention and/or whether they fully recover, unlike an officer of Carnival Cruise Line who died of COVID last month.
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August 31, 2021 Update:
20 Minutes in Spain, the Spanish documentary television show, aired a story about a recent cruise aboard the MSC Grandiosa, explaining that the cruise ship was operating at 75% occupancy and there were few guests wearing masks or socially distancing. Not surprisingly, there were reports of at least two guests and one crew member who tested positive for COVID-19 (photo above left and right).
Image credit: Top – MSC Grandiosa – By kees torn – Vertrek, CC BY-SA 2.0 commons / wikimedia; middle – “El MSC Grandiosa de MSC cruceros, el sábado pasado en Barcelona. EUROPA PRESS.”