The suspected case, an 83-year-old man who reported to the on-board medical center with diarrhoea late Tuesday night, was given a PCR test as per on-board protocols, and tested positive. According to the Singapore Tourism Board, he was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases and is undergoing further tests.
Sample retested negative, as did a subsequent test
The man's original sample has since been retested and has come back negative for COVID-19 infection. A second fresh sample tested has also come back negative. A third test will be conducted Thursday to confirm his COVID-19 status.
In line with the existing emergency response plans for pilot cruises, contact tracing began immediately after the positive test result, and all on-board leisure activities ceased. Passengers were also asked to remain in their rooms, while close contacts of the suspected case were identified and isolated.
The ship — which had 1,680 passengers and 1,148 crew on board — immediately cut short its cruise to nowhere and returned to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre at 8:30 a.m. today.
As part of existing infection control protocols, the remaining passengers and crew on board had to stay on the ship until contact tracing was completed. This was also to prevent any intermingling between passengers or crew from Quantum of the Seas and Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream, which arrived at the same terminal at 9 a.m.
Singapore requires travelers to use an app or carry a government-issued token for distancing and contact tracing. In addition, Royal Caribbean issues travelers and crew its own Tracelet, a wearable to assist with contact tracing.
Disembarkation commenced when contact tracing for the suspected case and embarkation of passengers for World Dream’s next sailing were completed.
Antigen test at disembarkation
All passengers are undergoing a mandatory antigen rapid test at Marina Bay Cruise Centre upon disembarkation. This is in line with regular protocols for arriving passengers. Deep cleaning is also being carried out on board the ship as part of Royal Caribbean's own protocols and Singapore's CruiseSafe guidelines.
As a further precautionary measure, passengers are required to monitor their health for 14 days from the date of disembarkation and undergo a swab test at a designated government swabbing facility at the end of the monitoring period.
Close contacts go to government quarantine facility
Close contacts of the positive case who were identified and tested negative for COVID-19 will be sent to a designated government quarantine facility.
Royal Caribbean will compensate all passengers on the Dec. 7 sailing for the missed day at sea.
As earlier reported, the line canceled Quantum's Dec. 10 cruise and expects to resume operating Dec. 14. The line just restarted service on Dec. 1.