An 83-year-old man who tested positive to COVID-19 while on board a Royal Caribbean “cruise to nowhere” out of Singapore has tested negative to the virus upon returning to port.
As reported earlier this week, Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas was forced to return to Singapore on Wednesday – a day earlier than scheduled – after the man fell ill and returned a positive result to a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
Providing an update to the incident, the Singapore Tourism Board said all passengers had since disembarked between 7.30pm and midnight on Wednesday and undergone a mandatory Antigen Rapid Test at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore.
However, the Board also revealed that the infected passenger’s original sample had since been retested and come back negative for COVID-19. A second and third test both also returned a negative result, with the Ministry of Health confirming Thursday that the passenger did not have COVID.
Quantum of the Seas had arrived back in Singapore on Wednesday morning but passengers remained onboard for most of the day while contract tracing was conducted, and to avoid any mingling with passengers on Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream, which arrived back at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore around the same time following its own “cruise to nowhere” sailing.
The Genting ship had become the first to resume sailing from Singapore on short three and four-day trips in early November, with Royal Caribbean embarking on its first trip on 3 December. The affected journey was just the company’s second under Singapore’s “cruise to nowhere” procedures.
The Ministry of Health said Thursday that quarantine orders on close contacts of the 83-year-old have now been rescinded, while the Singapore Tourism Board confirmed that its “cruise to nowhere” scheme will continue as planned. However, onboard testing procedures will be reviewed.