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Cruise ship in Greece given coronavirus all-clear

A cruise ship in Greece that caused a coronavirus scare was given the all-clear by authorities on Tuesday, after a "false alarm" where crew members thought to have contracted the virus tested negative.

Maltese-flagged cruiser Mein Schiff 6, operated by German travel giant TUI is docked at the port of Piraeus early on September 29, 2020 after a dozen crew members were reported positive for the virus, state news agency ANA said. - However, Greek media on September 29, 2020, reported that follow-up tests on the same crew members turned out negative. The Mein Schiff 6 is the first cruise ship to sail to Greece since the coronavirus lockdown and is carrying 922 passengers and 666 crew. Louisas Gouliamaki / AFP
The Maltese-flagged Mein Schiff 6, operated by Anglo-German travel giant TUI, is carrying 922 passengers and 666 crew -- the first cruise ship to sail in Greece after a lockdown imposed in March.

On Monday, a dozen staff members out of 150 tested by a laboratory in Crete as part of a testing campaign were found to have the virus, forcing the ship to moor at the Greek port of Piraeus early Tuesday.

Staff members were given three more tests each, all of which came back negative, deputy civil protection minister Nikos Hardalias told reporters.

"We then sounded the end of the alert," he said.

TUI branded the initial tests a "false alarm" and stressed "there are no cases of Covid-19 on board Mein Schiff 6."

All passengers had already been given a clean bill of health in tests carried out prior to the voyage.

Gkikas Magiorkinis, an epidemiology professor, told reporters that "sometimes test results are not very clear and you need a follow-up."

The cruise ship, originally sailing to Corfu via Piraeus, had been diverted to the Aegean island of Milos on Monday after the infections were detected, before being told to sail to Piraeus.

The ship is now waiting for the final green light from health authorities to continue its trip, Greek coastguards said.

Topics: Mein Schiff 6 , Greece , Corfu , Piraeus , COVID-19 , TUI
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