Four Swiss on board coronavirus cruise ship repatriated

Passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship - not necessarily the four Swiss ones - are assisted boarding a charter plane in California on Wednesday Keystone

Four Swiss nationals who had been stuck on the Grand Princess cruise ship outside San Francisco have returned to Switzerland. 

This content was published on March 12, 2020 - 16:30

The foreign ministry tweeted on Thursday that the US government had arranged for the four Swiss, plus three Germans, to fly to Kiev in Ukraine. From there, a flight organised by the Swiss government had brought the seven to Switzerland. 

None was reported to have been infected by Covid-19. 

On March 7 the foreign ministry had announced that there were four Swiss citizens aboard the liner that was barred from docking in San Francisco owing to the coronavirus. 

Samples had been taken from 46 people and 21 of them – 19 crew and two passengers – tested positive for the coronavirus, said US Vice-President Mike Pence, who is running the White House’s response to the outbreak. 

One of the Swiss on board, a 55-year-old man, told Swiss newspaper Blick that everyone had to stay in their cabins. “It’s like a ghost ship. It’s spooky!” he said. 

A 71-year-old man who had been on a previous cruise died from Covid-19 on his return to California.

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