Sunday, June 7, 2020

Coronavirus: Australian liner blocked in Uruguay authorized to dock

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Around the world, ships are a problem in the midst of a coronavirus epidemic. An Australian liner, on which a hundred people were contaminated, was finally authorized to dock Friday at the port of Montevideo to proceed with the evacuation by plane of passengers to Australia, announced Wednesday the Uruguayan authorities.

“The liner Greg Mortimer is expected to dock initially on Friday afternoon. The goal is to implement the cordon cordon to the Montevideo international airport, announced the Uruguayan navy.

The plane to evacuate Australian and New Zealand nationals – the most numerous on board – bound for Melbourne will arrive in Uruguay on Thursday and take off in the night from Friday to Saturday, sources told the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Once they have disembarked at the port of Montevideo, tourists will be taken by coach directly to Carrasco airport, located more than 25 km away.

Blocked for two weeks

The Greg Mortimer, flying the flag of the Bahamas and carrying some 200 passengers and crew members, has been stranded off the Uruguayan capital since March 27.

While at least 128 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded on board, the Uruguayan government has decided that only people whose “life is in danger” will be allowed to disembark pending an evacuation solution. all passengers.

Since the ship’s arrival off the Uruguayan capital, eight people – five Australians, one Briton and two Filipinos – have been admitted to city hospitals due to their worsening health.

Tests before evacuation

The latest are two Australians, aged 59 and 60, evacuated Wednesday morning. According to the Minister of Health, Daniel Salinas, the six people already on the ground are in “a stable state”. American and European tourists, mostly British, will still have to wait.

They “must wait until their test (coronavirus) is negative” so that their evacuation can be organized which could be done by a flight bound for Sao Paulo, in Brazil, to then join their respective countries, explained Aurora Expeditions, the cruise line Australian ship owner.

Greg Mortimer left Ushuaia, in the far south of Argentina, on March 15 for a cruise in Antarctica and on the British island of South Georgia. However, the crossing was shortened due to the appearance of suspected coronavirus cases.

After being driven back by the British Falkland Islands, the ship set sail for Montevideo, several thousand kilometers further north.

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