MSC Grandiosa Crew Member Tests Positive for Covid-19 During Screening Phase

Sep 10, 2020

Several Italian news outlets including the newspaper Giornale di Sicilia reported an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases detected in Sicily.  

According to Giornale di Sicilia 18 new cases were reported in a few hours in Palermo, including one MSC Grandiosa employee. The woman, who is Israeli citizen, was asymptomatic and transferred yesterday from the port to a facility set by the health authorities and MSC Cruises, most probably at the Covid Hotel San Paolo in Palermo.

The woman tested positive at the end of a long comprehensive health and safety protocol which, according to the MSC, "makes our ships safe. If the employees are foreign nationals, they swab just before leaving the country of origin, then before boarding, they carry out a second examination and swab test, and they board the ship but immediately go to quarantine in their quarters for 14 days. Once the isolation is over, before leaving the cabin they are subjected to a third swab test, which in a few hours, as it happened yesterday with the Israeli citizen, confirms or rules out the initial diagnosis. All crew members have gone through similarly stringent health screening measures, which included 3 COVID-19 tests in various phases as well as a period of isolation before commencing their duties.” 

According to the ships tracking website, Marine Traffic MSC Grandiosa departed from Palermo, yesterday evening at around 7:30 pm and is currently sailing to her next destination the port of Valletta, Malta expected to arrive on September 11.

MSC Grandiosa is the first major cruise ship to set sail in the Mediterranean in nearly five months after Italy's pandemic lockdown. On August 16, the first seven-night western Mediterranean cruise started from the port of Genoa with stops in Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo and Valletta. MSC cruises implemented strict health protocols as well as COVID-19 swab tests for all passengers and crew, which, so far, resulted in 3 successfully completed voyages on MSC Grandiosa.

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