Greece: Cruise ship cleared to go after COVID scare

Health inspectors in Greece say an emergency docking order for a cruise ship near Athens can now be lifted after crew members suspected of having been infected with COVID-19 tested negative

Gkikas Magiorkinis, a member of the government's pandemic expert committee, said that all 12 crew members tested negative Tuesday, using rapid and confirmatory tests, along with 24 other people they had come into contact with.

"So there is now no concern over this particular cruise ship. We also tested surfaces on the ship and all surfaces tested are negative,” Magiorkinis told reporters.

The vessel, operated by TUI Cruises, has 922 passengers and 666 crew members on board and began its trip late Sunday from the port of Iraklio, on the island of Crete.

Passengers had undergone coronavirus tests before boarding.

Greece has seen a rise in confirmed COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, registering 416 new ones on Tuesday and 5 new deaths. More than half of the new infections were in the greater Athens region, which has become the main hotspot in the country.

Greece has seen over 18,000 infections and 388 confirmed virus-related deaths, but experts say all figures undercount the true toll of the pandemic due to missed cases and limited testing.


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