Mumbai - The Cordelia Cruise ship management on Tuesday said that only one of its crew members had tested Covid-19 positive in Goa on Sunday and the guests who were confirmed cases may have been infected before they boarded the ship.
It also announced suspension of its January 5 service.
In a detailed statement, Waterways Leisure Tourism CEO and President Jurgen Bailom said that after the sole infected crew member displayed mild symptoms, he was immediately isolated and then all the other crew and guests had to undergo Covid tests again.
As Goa Health Minister Visjwajit Rane confirmed later, at least 66 persons of the total 1 400 on board were found Covid-19 positive and were isolated, leading to on-board protests. Bailom said they are asymptomatic.
He said that the cruise ship company has taken all precautions for its crew who are staying on board the ship since September 2021, are fully vaccinated and undergo regular RTPCR tests, and had informed the health authorities concerned after the fresh infections were detected.
"Once may hence mindfully arrive at the conjecture that the guests who have tested positive as of this morning (Januarty 4) were already infected with the virus prior to boarding. However their tests showed otherwise, hence they were permitted on board," said Bailom.
He said that there are several similar incidents on flights and trains which are "unfortunate and unexpected" despite everyone taking utmost care, and the Cordelia Cruises' "extreme proactiveness" in conducting the RT-PCR tests.