29 Vincentian Sailors aboard Royal Caribbean Ship test positive for COVID-19 antibodies

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365 Vincentian Sailors were repatriated to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) on Tuesday May 26, 2020 from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Vision of the Seas.

29 of these Seafarers have tested positive for COVID-19.

This was announced by Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon. Luke Browne.

Minister Browne informed that the 29 crewmen/women were tested positive for COVID-19 by rapid tests.

He reported that PCR tests will be done to confirm the diagnosis.

“29 sailors from the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ship which arrived here yesterday tested positive by rapid test for COVID-19, Browne reported via Facebook.

“This test is not used for diagnostics since it may indicate the presence of antibodies and not necessarily active infection and is not approved by the World Health Organisation.”

“…I would like to re-iterate that PCR-tests are the gold standard for diagnosing cases of COVID-19,” Browne said.

The minister further informed that all 356 sailors will be tested by PCR, noting that the required samples have already been collected.

Until the PCR results have been received, no one will be released from the ship, which has been docked at the Kingstown Port since 5am Tuesday.

-Searchlight Newspaper photo-