A number of news outlets in Australia are reporting that the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. The country of Indonesia took the extraordinary step of blocking the Cunard ship from calling at port in Bali.
Neither the cruise operator (Cunard) nor ship owner (Carnival Corporation) would disclose the number of infected passengers or crew members. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Cunard admitted “there was an ‘elevated level of transmission’ on board, but declined to provide case numbers.”
The Sydney Morning Herald states that authorities in Indonesian requested the Queen Elizabeth to abandon the Balinese leg of its 17-day tour, following a COVID-19 outbreak on board.
“The Queen Elizabeth left Sydney on November 15, stopping at Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas and Darwin, but will cut short the final week of its tour and head straight to Fremantle.”
ABC News in Australia reports that the “WA (West Australia) government said it had received information that 10 to 15 percent of the people on board are COVID-positive.”
With nearly 2,100 passengers and a crew of around 1,000, that means that between 310 and 465 people on the Cunard ship were positive for COVID-19.
Spokeswoman for Cunard, operator of #cruise ship, showing usual lack of transparency, declined to provide number of people infected with #COVID19 🤐 Forced abandonment of #cruise ship’s Bali port call follows Majestic Princess with 800 #COVID19 ++positive pax & crew in Sydney.
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) November 26, 2022
The Australian newspaper added that the “abandonment of the ship’s Bali tour follows the berthing of the Majestic Princess in Sydney earlier this month, carrying 800 COVID-positive passengers and crew.”
There has been a trend of cruise ships calling on Australian ports in the last month with a significant number of passengers and crew members positive for COVID-19:
Majestic Princess – 800 infected guests (Sydney);
Quantum of the Seas – 400 infected guests (heading toward Queensland)
Coral Princess – 290 infected guests and crew (Fremantle);
Grand Princess – 200 infected guests (Melbourne);
Ovation of the Seas – 129 infected guests and 2 crew member (New Zealand)
Majestic Princess – 116 infected guests (Tahiti).
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Photo Credit: Queen Elizabeth – Screen grab 9 News Australia.