Superstar Aquarius Docks in Keelung Again With Crew Quarantined on Board

Superstar Aquarius Docks in Keelung Again With Crew Quarantined on Board
Photo Credit: AP / TPG Images

What you need to know

Passengers left the ship after Taiwanese health officials conducted a sample test for coronavirus. The Chinese crew members were not allowed to disembark.

Over 1,700 Taiwanese passengers on the Superstar Aquarius were allowed to disembark on February 8, after travelers on board were tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus. After the inspection, the ship was ordered to leave the port with 200 Chinese crew members on board.

Taiwan’s government has allowed the Superstar Aquarius to return to the Keelung seaport, its current home base, after wandering aimlessly on the sea. Chinese crew members will not be allowed to leave the ship during the ship's temporary stay. 

Screenshot of Marinetraffic
The Superstar Aquarius maneuvering around Taiwan on February 8. Taken at 13:35 Taipei time on February 10, 2020. 

When the cruise ship docked in Keelung on Saturday, Taiwan’s Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) boarded the ship with medical workers to conduct a fever screening for all passengers. A sample size of 128 was selected for further testing based on symptoms of infection and travel history. 

Chen explained the testing sample was already higher than expected, including passengers with a mild fever at 37.3C. After nine hours, all test results returned negative. Chen announced to the passengers that “we can go home” and the crowd cheered. All foreign travelers were also dropped off. 

“We’ve fought a perfect battle, but we have more to go,” Chen said to the press. 

The Superstar Aquarius found itself stuck between the ports of Japan and Taiwan last week when Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center banned all international cruise ships from docking. After making several U-turns near Japan, the ship was recalled by Taiwan’s authorities.

At least 40 passengers on the Superstar Aquarius have recently traveled to China, Hong Kong or Macau. All passengers were told to monitor their health for at least 14 days and to report immediately if any possible symptoms occurred. 

Another cruise ship named World Dream had been cleared yesterday after being stranded in Hong Kong for four days. The ship was quarantined after eight passengers tested positive for the coronavirus. However, 1,800 crew members tested negative, the 3,600 remaining passengers were also allowed to disembark.

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TNL Editor: Daphne K. Lee (@thenewslensintl)

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