This was a ship with no luck. A cruise ship Carnival Vista, which traveled from Galveston, Texas, to Belize City, Belize last week, had a Covid-19 eruption en route. And anyone who ended up testing positive for Covid-19 coronavirus had previously been vaccinated. This is because almost all crew members and passengers on the ship had already received Covid-19 vaccines.
According to a August 11 report from the Belize Tourism Board, the ship had 2,895 guests and 1,441 crews with 96.5% of the passengers and 99.98% of the crew vaccinated. They did not specify whether “vaccinated” meant fully vaccinated or what specific vaccines everyone had received.
Believe it or not, there was still a Covid-19 outbreak. At least one person must have had the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SAR-CoV-2) on board. So far, 27 people, 26 crew members and one passenger have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. All 27 affected had already been vaccinated and apparently “most were asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms”, according to the Belize Tourism Board report.
Nevertheless, Belize officials clearly wanted what happened on the Carnival Vista cruise ship to stay on the Carnival Vista Cruise ship. Thus, Carnival Vista officials practically met with the Minister of Tourism of Belize and Diaspora Relations, the team of Ministers and the Belize Tourism Board, who practically met with officials of Carnival Vista on August 10, 2021 to discuss how best to move forward. After crew members were isolated, contact tracing was performed, and no further positive cases were identified, Belize officials said the virus would not rise in Belize City. Belize officials then allowed passengers to leave the ship.
The cruise ship has since implemented additional Covid-19 precautions, which require more face masks to be worn indoors, crew members to wear N95 masks and close crew social areas. Going forward, Carnival will require guests to have negative quick tests before boarding, regardless of their vaccination status.
All this does not mean that the Covid-19 vaccines offer no protection. It would be like getting your pants down in the middle of a job interview or a date and saying, “look, that proves pants don’t matter.” The Covid-19 outbreak could have been much worse if more people had not been vaccinated. Who knows how many more people could have been infected? Plus, those who became infected could have ended up having worse Covid-19 and worse outcomes if they had not received the Covid-19 vaccines earlier.
This Carnival outbreak is a reminder that while Covid-19 vaccines can offer very good protection, they are not perfect. They do not look like full-body concrete condoms. You typically do not go into a party and declare, “I’m wearing underwear and am ready to mingle.” Similarly, do not go into any public place and say, “I am completely vaccinated, I am indestructible, and I am ready for a social closure.” Even though you may be fully vaccinated, it is important to still maintain other Covid-19 precautions such as social distancing and face mask.
This is especially true on board a cruise ship. Cruise ships can be wet dreams or buffets for Covid-19 coronavirus. After all, such ships can pack quite a few people together in relatively close quarters. And people typically do not stay confined in their cabins throughout the trip. Otherwise, they could have just been home and put their beds on swing machines. As a result, cruise ships can have lots of common surfaces and airspace that can be easily polluted. Remember that most of a cruise ship is still indoors. If it were not, it would instead become known as a cruise fleet.
Although most of the passengers on this special trip were vaccinated, Carnival’s website says they “will continue to welcome non-vaccinated guests, including children under the age of 12, who are not eligible for a vaccine.” So if you are on the ship, meet another passenger and ask, “what vaccine did you get”, the answer could very well be “no”, “neither”, “I chose not to answer that question due to hippos “, or” nice day it is not. Are you going to the air guitar competition? ”
Carnival Cruise Lines requires those who have not been vaccinated to provide evidence of a negative PCR covid-19 test at check-in, performed sometime between 72 and 24 hours before the departure date, and to take an additional antigen test at the day of departure. Such testing is not quite the same as getting vaccinated. Tests can have false negatives and only determine if the person was contagious at the time. It can be like taking a pregnancy test immediately after having sex. A person can always become positive later.
With the more contagious Delta variant spreading ashore in the United States, there is a good chance that it can also spread at sea, that is, on a ship that is at sea. So cruise ships will have to assemble their ship and implement multiple layers of Covid-19 precautions, probably more than they had originally imagined when they resumed cruises earlier in the year. Otherwise, they will risk being up on a ship’s stream without a paddle, so to speak.
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