Two more nationals on board the Enchantment of the Seas have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of cases from the cruise ship to nine, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh saying during Saturday’s virtual press conference.
This comes even as the other nationals on board the vessel expressed concern about when their quarantine will end.
Six of the 300-plus nationals aboard had tested positive on their arrival on June 14, while another of them tested positive on Friday. Yesterday, Deyalsingh said 15 minutes before the press conference he was told two other nationals had tested positive and they were to be sent to the Caura Hospital with the other seven cruise workers.
He also revealed the Ministry of National Security had accepted 20 deportees, 18 males and two females, from the United States last week and they were in quarantine. He said the two female deportees were at UWI’s Debe Campus, putting the total people there at 45. He said they had operationalised the Vision on Mission facility in Claxton Bay for the male deportees. He also said the 100 University of the West Indies students at Canada Hall had tested negative and were expected to be released yesterday.
Regarding the rest of the nationals on the Enchantment on the Seas, Deyalsingh said Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram was looking at whether they would have to restart their quarantine in light of the three additional cases.
The nationals came in on June 14 and their quarantine period was initially scheduled to end this weekend.
Deyalsingh said it was difficult for him to say when or where the nationals had contracted the virus but said he was happy the ministry used scientific information to guide them and did not give in to the pressure by the nationals, who at one point had asked to have free access to move around the vessel.
“I think if we had given in to that public pressure and the pressure coming from them to have free access to walk about, mix and mingle, what we will be faced with this morning is not two additional cases, it could have been 20, 25 or 200,” he said.
“If we had allowed them free reign to the vessel and the number of infections went up significantly, they would not be allowed to leave the cruise ship as early as they could leave now.”
As of last evening, the number of COVID-19 cases stood at 126 with eight deaths.