Durban man tells of life on board coronavirus hit cruise liner stuck in Italy

By ZAINUL DAWOOD Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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Durban - Forty South African's including a Durban couple are being kept in isolation in their cabins on an Italian luxury cruise liner amid Covid-19 outbreak onboard the vessel. 

The Costa Luminosa is docked at the port of Savona, Italy since Saturday. 

The ship shed six coronavirus patients at three ports on a trans Atlantic voyage. The USA chartered a flight for them and they have all arrived in Atlanta USA where I expect they will be quarantined for 14 days.

Mike Heron,64, of Glenwood and his wife Kim,54, are on board. 

Heron explained life onboard the ship and what he is doing to keep occupied on Monday. 

"We have a balcony cabin and can go out onto the balcony. Today, it is max 12 degrees celsius so not too pleasant outside. There is a TV that only shows BBC news and I24 news. There are a few movie channels with very old movies and in all different languages. We have run out of books to read, we play cards and very little else," Heron said. 

"If we join the Australians which we still don't know. We would have been confined to cabins for about two weeks, get quarantined in Italy for two weeks and then if we ever get back to SA will have to undergo a further two weeks,"  he explained.

The trip was originally planned to arrive at Savona Italy. Heron said they were to disembark on Saturday 22 March. They were booked to catch a train to Milan and fly out on 22 March.

"We actually were given tickets booked by the ship to leave at Marseille with confirmed flights and the USA and Canadian passengers were given priority and we were bounced. They left and we  stayed on board," Heron said. 

The ship is currently docked in Savona Port and is in a stable stable condition. 

"The confinement to cabins is not that strict and passengers still walk around the ship at their own risk and sometimes are called to go to reception or certain areas from time to time. Most wear masks when walking around. The crew do not enter the cabins when delivering food and the cabins are not and have not been cleaned for about 10 days now," Heron explained. 

"We vacuumed our own cabin on Sunday and changed our own sheets. One good thing that happened on Sunday was that the ship sorted out everybody on board chronic medication for those passengers who were running out. Some of the chronic medication came in generic forms which is better than nothing," Heron explained. 

Daily News

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