With no idea what time they’ll be disembarking, over 1,600 passengers aboard Dream World were stuck in their cabins for the entire day on Wednesday (July 14).
They endured a 20-hour wait on the cruise ship docked at Marina Bay Cruise Centre after the Ministry of Health confirmed that a 40-year-old passenger had tested positive for Covid-19, with links to a recent cluster involving KTV outlets and nightclubs.
Image source: iStock
With all activities on the ship halted since 1am, many turned to watching movies, sleeping or watching the sea from their balconies, as authorities raced to trace those who were in contact with the Covid-19 case.
To ease the waiting game, cruise operator Dream Cruises offered passengers free WiFi and delivered meals to their rooms.
Tan Choon Seng, 51, who was travelling with his friends, told the media: “We are thankful that this happened at 1am so we were done with all the activities.”
While Tan was worried whether he’d need to be quarantined, he said he would continue to go on cruises.
This was echoed by Marcus The, 28, who told The Straits Times: “It was not really much of an inconvenience so I would definitely cruise again.”
Despite receiving updates on the situation throughout the day, passengers like Rachael Tay, 29, said they were concerned about disrupted plans.
Tay, who was travelling with her family, told AsiaOne on Wednesday that she was feeling fine health-wise but she was worried whether she’d be able to return to work the next day.
“I felt that pre-boarding swab tests are useless. Why is the suspected case detected positive only after close contact tracing?” she asked.
Anson Lim, 46, was also concerned about the coronavirus case, saying that he will go for an extra Covid-19 test on his own after getting back on land.
According to the cruise operator, passengers are required to take an Antigen Rapid Test (ART), present a negative result, check in using SafeEntry as well as collect a token for contact tracing purposes before they are allowed to board World Dream.
The infected passenger had tested negative in the ART before the ship set sail for a four-day “cruise to nowhere” on July 11.
Three others who were travelling with the passenger tested negative and were isolated while further contact tracing was being done, the Singapore Tourism Board said in a press release.
Those who were in close contact with the infected passenger were placed on quarantine.
Passengers were allowed to disembark the cruise ship in batches from 8.30pm, and had to take an ART test at the cruise centre before they returned home, the cruise operator said.
Fortunately for Tay and her family, they did not receive quarantine orders and could make their way home after 10.30pm.
However, they’ll still need to monitor their health for 14 days and go for a free swab test next week at a government-designated swab site.
This article was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead image source from AsiaOne / Rachael Tay.
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