NASSAU, BAHAMAS – While a Bahamas-flagged ship cruiseliner with five confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is reportedly still making its way to The Bahamas, Eyewitness News understands the ship will not be allowed near any habited island.
In a statement this morning, The Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ said it can confirm that its ship Braemar “is still heading to The Bahamas, where we have been given permission to come alongside in order to take on supplies and medication”
The cruise line said, “However, we have been told by authorities in The Bahamas that we may not be allowed to disembark passengers and crew there as planned.
“This in an ongoing situation and a dedicated team at our HQ in Ipswich are working around the clock to find a solution.”
The company said it is speaking to officials in The Bahamas, the United Kingdom, UK Chamber of Shipping and Public Heath England.
“Our top priority remains getting the guests on board Braemar home as soon as possible whilst ensuring the safety of all those on board,” it advised
After reports that the infected cruise liner was expected to dock in the country, the government assured that it will “not be permitted to dock in The Bahamas and passengers and crew will not be allowed to disembark.
The government however reaffirmed that should Braemar arrive in Bahamian waters, The Bahamas will do all that it can to provide humanitarian assistance.
“This may include providing fuel, food, water and other supplies as needed by the vessel,” it said.
It remains unclear how this will be facilitated.
As of today, there are still no suspected, reported, or confirmed cases of the virus in The Bahamas.
The World Health Organization has officially classified the spread of the virus as a pandemic. With the virus spreading its way across European countries, WHO has declared Europe the epicenter.
This comes nearly two months after the COVID-19 outbreak was confirmed in Wuhan, China, where the potentially deadly virus is eliminated.
Braemar has four crew members and one passenger who tested positively for COVID-19.
Around 6 p.m. yesterday, In an announcement on board the cruise ship Braemar’s captain told passengers and crew, “After speaking with our office in the UK and following advice from the British Government, we are continuing our passage to the Bahamas.
“As I have already mentioned, we have received confirmation that essential services and provisions including medical supplies and fuel are available to us when we reach the Bahamas.”
He told them that there has been “conflicting information and media speculation received.”
“As it stands, we are therefore continuing talks regarding permission to disembark,” he said.
“Please bear with me in this incredibly frustrating time, where rumour is plentiful and facts are in short supply.”