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Coronavirus: the ocean liner anchored off Montevideo will be able to dock

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An Australian liner aboard which a hundred people have been infected by the coronavirus will dock on Friday in Montevideo, after nearly two weeks of waiting offshore.

The authorization to dock given to Greg Mortimer will allow the evacuation by plane of passengers to Australia, announced Wednesday the Uruguayan authorities.

“The liner Greg Mortimer is scheduled to begin as early as Friday afternoon. The objective is to implement the sanitary cordon to the Montevideo international airport,” announced the Uruguayan Navy.

The plane planned to evacuate Australian and New Zealand nationals? the most numerous on board? bound for Melbourne will arrive in Uruguay on Thursday. And their plane will take off in the night from Friday to Saturday, sources in the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry told AFP. Once disembarked, tourists will have been taken by coach directly to Carrasco Airport, located more than 25 km away.

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.

Aggravation

Since the ship’s arrival off the Uruguayan capital, eight people (five Australians, one Briton and two Filipinos) have been admitted to hospitals in the city due to their worsening health. Two Australians, aged 59 and 60, were the latest to land on 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 “have to wait until their test (coronavirus) is negative” for their evacuation to be organized, which could be done by a first flight bound for Sao Paulo (Brazil). From there they would reach their respective countries, said Aurora Expeditions, the Australian cruise ship owner.

Greg Mortimer had left Ushuaia, in the far south of Argentina, on March 15 for a cruise to Antarctica and 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.

The Greg Mortimer is not the first cruise liner to be blocked by a large port error accepting that it will dock, in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.

The Coral Princess, a cruise ship counting two deceased people and several coronavirus patients on board, finally docked on April 4 in the port of Miami, after having been rejected by another city in Florida and several Latin American countries .

The liner had initially tried unsuccessfully to land in Fort Lauderdale, the city where two other cruise ships infected with the coronavirus, the Zaandam and the Rotterdam, had taken refuge on April 2 after long negotiations with the local authorities.

Before them, the Diamond Princess cruise between the Japanese and Chinese coasts, in January and February, had turned into a nightmare, with more than 700 cases on board. A dozen passengers were dead.

04/09/2020 01:42:13 –
Montevideo (AFP) –
© 2020 AFP

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