Uninfected crew on cruise ship in Nagasaki to be sent home

Kyodo News

Posted at Apr 27 2020 04:26 PM

Uninfected crew on cruise ship in Nagasaki to be sent home 1
An aerial view shows Italian cruise ship Costa Atlantica, which has crew members confirmed with cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection, in Nagasaki, southern Japan April 23, 2020, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Kyodo via Reuters/file

Some crew members are from Philippines

NAGASAKI - Some of the crew aboard an Italian cruise ship docked for repairs at Nagasaki Port in southwestern Japan who have tested negative for the novel coronavirus will be sent home as early as this week, the vessel's operator said Monday.

According to Costa Cruises' Japanese office, it plans to send home members of the crew from the Philippines and Indonesia on one or multiple chartered flights and is considering using the same plane for Europeans. The crew members are from more than 30 nations, mostly in Asia.

A total of 148 crew members aboard the Costa Atlantica, docked at a plant of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in Nagasaki, have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.

The prefectural government has not disclosed the details of those who have tested positive. There are no passengers aboard the ship, which has 623 crew members, including a Japanese translator.

One of the infected crew, a male of foreign nationality, has been hospitalized at a designated medical facility in the city due to severe symptoms. The remaining 622, including those with mild cases of COVID-19, have remained on board, with the Nagasaki government keeping a watch on their condition.

The 622 crew are staying in cabins, but the living spaces of those who tested positive and negative are not strictly separated, so an infected crew member could be staying in a room next to that of an uninfected one, according to the Nagasaki government.

The ship was originally due to undergo repairs in China but Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., eventually received the repair order due to the virus outbreak, which was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.