Four Swiss nationals are on board the Grand Princess cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco due to the coronavirus.
The Swiss consulate in San Francisco is in contact with the local authorities, who have confirmed to the foreign ministry that four Swiss are on the liner. The foreign ministry tweeted the news on Saturday:
Samples were taken from 46 people on Thursday and 21 of them – 19 crew and two passengers – tested positive for the coronavirus, said US Vice-President Mike Pence on Friday at a press conference.
Pence, who is running the White House’s response to the outbreak, said the vessel with about 3,500 passengers and crew would be taken to a non-commercial port where everyone on board would be tested.
One of the Swiss on board, a 55-year-old man, told Swiss newspaper Blick on Saturday that everyone had to stay in their cabins. “It’s like a ghost ship. It’s spooky!” he said.
The man said anyone showing symptoms had to say so, but his family were currently all right.
A 71-year-old man who had been on a previous cruise died from Covid-19 on his return to California.
On Saturday the Federal Office of Public Health reported 228 confirmed cases in Switzerland. On Thursday a 74-year-old woman, who had been hospitalised in Lausanne, died as a result of the disease – so far the only death in the country.
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