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The tests carried out on passengers and crew of a cruise ship of the Norwegian company arrived this Sunday in New Orleans (USA) with several people sick with COVID-19 yielded a total of 17 cases, one of them probably of the Omicron variant, according to the health authorities.
There are seven more cases than those detected during the voyage through the Caribbean, which included stops at ports in Mexico, Belize and Honduras.
The Breakaway docked Sunday in the port of New Orleans, where it had departed on November 28 with more than 3,200 people on board, all of whom were tested for COVID-19 before disembarking.
According to the Louisiana State Department of Health, a crew member who tested positive for COVID-19 during the voyage may have the Omicron variant, which first appeared in South Africa and is apparently more contagious than the others.
That person does not reside in Louisiana and was not allowed to get off the ship, according to that source.
In the same statement, the Louisiana Department of Health reported without giving details of an omicron case, the first, registered in the state.
The protocol applied to the arrival of the ship in New Orleans, which follows the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave two options to those who tested positive before disembarking: go home in your own vehicle and confine yourself there or isolate yourself in facilities provided by the authorities for it.
A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson told WWLTV that the company, which requires both passengers and crew members to be fully vaccinated in order to board its ships, imposed a quarantine and other isolation measures on people affected by the outbreak during the trip and traced their contacts to determine the origin of the contagion and prevent others.
All the COVID-19 cases detected on board were asymptomatic and occurred both among the passenger and the crew, according to the spokesperson contacted by the channel, who did not give details about those affected.
CDC received notifications of 1,359 COVID-19 cases from shipping companies operating in the U.S., one of them fatal, between June 26 and October 21, in compliance with the so-called Navigation Conditions Ordinance (CSO).
The CDC noted that there have been several cases of passengers with symptoms who did not communicate it to the cruise companies during boarding or refused to do so while on the ship.
Last October, the CDC extended the conditions to travel on cruise ships until January 15 established during the COVID-19 pandemic from the country’s ports, which expired on November 1.
Cruises are one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic in the US Given the number of infections registered on board these ships, for more than a year they could not sail from the country’s ports, which caused millions in losses to shipping companies .
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