Brazil to Probe Cruise Companies Over Covid Outbreaks
Brazilian health authorities said on Sunday that they would investigate reports of cruise liners for violating Covid-19 protocols amid Covid outbreaks and Omicron surge.
The federal health regulator of Brazil, Anvisa, shared the news in a statement. The health regulator said that if they were found guilty of violating covid protocols, then a fine would be imposed on cruise liners.
The Brazilian government had allowed cruises to resume in November but ordered companies to implement strict protocols against Covid-19 due to covid outbreaks.
Federal health regulator statement
The federal health regulator statement came after Brazilian media reported that passengers on cruise liners violated covid-19 protocols during New Year’s celebrations. Anvisa said 26 passengers and 2 crew were tested covid positive from the MSC Preziosa, a 333-meter (1,093-foot) ship that was cruising off the coast of Rio de Janeiro during the New Year’s party.
Reportedly, infected individuals and those who came into contact with them were ordered into isolation.
On December 30, health authorities suspended the operations of two other ships, the Costa Diadema and MSC Splendida as they violated covid-19 protocols. The Preziosa and Splendida were operated by the Brazilian branch of the Swiss-Italian company MSC Cruises. Anvisa also warned people against boarding cruise ships amid the Omicron outbreak.
As cruise ships pose a threat to people, it is temporarily closed. Reportedly, there are five cruise liners operating on the Brazilian coast being monitored by Anvisa.
Brazil registered 28 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday and 1,721 additional covid cases. Reportedly, Brazil has the world’s third-highest death toll behind the United States (US) and Russia. Brazil is also third in the number of people infected after the United States and India. During the start of the pandemic, Brazil saw its COVID-19 death toll rise to the second-highest in the world.