A four-months’ pregnant Jamaican is expected to be among the 200 crew members who will disembark from the Royal Caribbean cruise line’s Adventure of the Seas vessel today as the first set of the 1,044 people on the cruise ship finally begin to make their way home.
The cruise ship docked in at the Falmouth Pier in Trelawny on Tuesday and, following medical and other checks over the past two days, the Jamaican crew members will start setting foot on land in groups of 200 today.
“In conjunction with the ship’s personnel we have identified persons who would be considered to be of high priority, in terms of persons who have any kind of medical illnesses or any kind of personal situation that would require them getting home quickly. So we have identified those persons and they will be disembarked initially,” chief medical officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie told a digital COVID-19 media update yesterday.
“…So those are in the first 200 when we start the process for tomorrow (today). Subsequent to that we are looking at logistics issues in terms of movement of persons who may come from, for example, the same parish, because we would be transporting these persons or making arrangements to get them home as well,” added Bisasor-McKenzie, as she stressed that the arrangements are being made with all the partners involved.
Bisasor-McKenzie said the process of getting people off the ship was still being finalised as the health ministry was trying to get it done with the least amount of disruption.
With several individuals expressing disappointment that they were not allowed to reunite with family members when the ship arrived in Falmouth on Tuesday, Bisasor-McKenzie pointed out that it was a tedious process.
The CMO noted that the Ministry of National Security had to first give approval for the ship to get exemption from the closed border rules before the ship submitted documents on the crew and the passengers on the ship, including details on all the ports on which it called.
“The next point would have been boarding the ship to do an inspection for ourselves, but we delayed that for a day because we needed to make sure that there were certain things in place to ensure the smooth processing of persons when they come off the ship and the facilities ready for them,” said Bisasor-McKenzie.
She admitted that once the ship docked on Tuesday there was an indication that there was a sick person on-board and arrangements were made to take her to Cornwall Regional Hospital.
But Bisasor-McKenzie cited confidentiality rules as she shied away from questions on the sick crew member, who Jamaica Observer sources say had problems with a young pregnancy.
According to Bisasor-McKenzie, the medical officer of health for Trelawny and a team boarded the ship yesterday and made arrangements for the ship to be held in quarantine while the Jamaicans disembark over a period of days in batches of 200.
Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton told the media briefing that the island had recorded nine new cases in the previous 24 hours to move the number of confirmed cases in the island to 529.
Tufton also reported 26 more Jamaicans recovering from the virus to move the number recovered from COVID-19 to 171.
Of the nine new cases, six are people who recently returned to the island under the controlled re-entry programme. Two of the new cases are linked to the Alorica call centre, while the other is a contact of a confirmed case.
So far 9,021 COVID-19 tests have been carried out across the island, but Tufton did not say how many of these were individual tests or how many were multiple tests of the same person. Seventy-two test results are pending.
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