One hundred and twelve passengers of the Australian ship Greg Mortimer, stranded off the coast of Uruguay since March 31 and with a large part of its occupants infected by COVID-19, will be evacuated this Friday to be repatriated by plane, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on Thursday. South American country.RELATED
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry explained the details of the “humanitarian corridor” that will allow these cruise passengers to board “a flight to Melbourne in a specially equipped aircraft with medical personnel on board.”
This operation, coordinated by the Chancellery with the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, “will ensure the return of passengers to their country with all sanitary guarantees for them and for society in general, “according to the note.
Sources at the Carrasco International Airport informed Efe that a plane “coming from Lisbon” will arrive “without passengers” at 5.00 am (8.00 GMT) on Friday 10 and will depart on Saturday 11 at 01:40 (04:40 GMT) “bound for Australia”. All these data were subsequently corroborated by the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry.
Eight people have already been evacuated from the ship Greg Mortimer in recent days, since they required specialized medical attention due to their state of gravity caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Six passengers – five Australians and one Briton – and two crew members – both Filipinos – are being treated at Uruguayan medical centers, in charge of the insurance contracted by the Australian company Aurora Expeditions, responsible for the cruise, as recently reported by the Uruguayan authorities.
The cruise ship left Ushuaia (Argentina) for the Spanish Canary Islands with 132 passengers and 85 crew and arrived in Montevideo when one of its occupants, the first to be evacuated on March 31, had respiratory problems associated with the coronavirus.
On April 5, laboratory personnel, equipped with 216 test kits, boarded the ship to determine how many occupants were affected by COVID-19. Result of the tests, it was reported that most of them were “asymptomatic or with mild symptoms”.
At the moment, it is unknown what will be the departure of the rest of the ship’s occupants, including British passengers.
Sources from the British embassy told Efe on Wednesday that some “live in Australia and return there” on that flight and that they are still “working” with the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry and the cruise ship operating company to “identify the best option” for those they must return to the UK.
Uruguay has been in a health emergency since March 13, when the first four positives for the COVID-19 disease were released, although there is no mandatory quarantine. So far, the South American country registers 456 infected and 7 deceased.