There’s just something concerning with the handling of virus-infected cruise ships. Not to mention, repatriated citizens, expats and overseas workers as well.
Yes, we have heard of several stories and it’s just a wonder why it keeps happening. Like, why do people still go on cruises? Aren’t they aware of its danger in this coronavirus time – or is it just stubbornness that they still push through? Oh, they are already at sea – or there’s just no refund? What about governments, if they could close borders, ports and airports – why can’t they do something about these tours?
Moreover, when passengers are hit by COVID-19, how come governments still do not know what to do? Or do not realize that their current system of managing these virus-infected cruise ships may open up to more transmissions?
How to handle cruise ship passengers and repatriated citizens
While having some kind of sanitary cordon sounds good, like, letting the cruise ship dock then immediately transporting the passengers to the airport before flying them home, the biggest concern (given that the bus driver and everybody involved in the transfer are protected) here would be – their destination.
Okay, these passengers go into health procedures and all upon arrival; but medical professionals get infected, too, despite their protection and it’s due to overexposure. Thus, the healthcare workers that should receive and care for them are those that has the least exposure – as in dedicated personnel, else, you know what could happen.
Any data on the infection spread of cruise ship passengers a week after disembarkation? See, you can’t overwhelm your locale and healthcare system with new cases that could have been brought and treated somewhere else considering these people were not in the country when their infection were confirmed.
As we see it, having quarantine tents within the terminal, port or airport area to receive them would be the second best thing.
And where would that ideal treatment area be?
On an island.
If your country has islands other than its mainland, use one minimally inhabited island to at least place all citizens coming from other countries (or cruise ships) for quarantine and treatment. As for medical facilities, there’s what you call ‘preparation’ and just doing it. This way, those in the mainland that are healthy would not get infected due to ‘saturation’. Mind you, infections spread more on the mainland than on smaller islands. This is obviously because there are more people on the mainland and one has to cross the sea just to infect someone else, after all, COVID-19 is about human-to-human transmission.
Even Australia used Christmas Island (though they could have utilized an island closer to its mainland) for that purpose; but special case or not, that’s the way to go. Hey, we have even talked about ‘quarantine island’ already.
This is social distancing par excellence!