The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram, has said there needs to be a change in the way passengers are screned as they go aboard and disembark from cruise ships, since these vessels are a proven breeding ground for infectious diseases, including covid19.
He made the point while responding to a question on changes in the cruise ship industry after the covid19 pandemic, at the Health Ministry's daily virtual media conference on Friday.
He said that after the covid19 pandemic, policies and procedures for the cruise ship industry must change. Before its onset, he said,, cruise ships were already known to be high risk facilities for infectious diseases. He said the virus may continue to lurk on-board cruise ships and without personal hygiene protocols and testing, it can spread rapidly among passengers and crew members.
“A change must happen. There needs to be a way in how screening is done, what people coming off and going on the cruise ship will have to go through, sanitation aboard the ships will have to be more rigorous,” Parasram said, adding that health protocols for cruise ships will be part of the new norm in the near future.