Upon the ship’s arrival in Keelung June 30, it underwent a thorough deep cleaning in accordance with EU standards, and crew began their mandatory 14-day quarantine on land.
COVID-19 tests administered
Following that quarantine, all crew were tested negative for COVID-19 based on nucleic acid tests administered at the company’s expense. The crew are now on board where they will undergo an additional seven-day self-health monitoring period to complete 21 days of isolation in total prior to passengers embarking July 26.
‘We appreciate the support and guidance of the many Taiwan authorities on the smooth completion of quarantine procedures and testing for our crew,’ said Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines.
He listed the Central Epidemic Command Center, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Immigration Department/National Police Agency of the Ministry of Interior, Maritime Port Bureau, MOTC; Taiwan International Port Co., Keelung City government, Taipei City government, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Wanfang Hospital and Epidemic Prevention Hotel.
New infection control officer role
‘We have been working tirelessly to prepare for the resumption of our cruise operations, and we have been exploring with local authorities the feasibility of hosting a medical professional aboard the ship to work as a consultant in collaboration with our two in-house professional doctors,’ Zhu continued.
As well, a new position, infection control officer, was added on board to ensure the preventive measures are functioning smoothly in case of emergencies. One of the ship’s two doctors will fill this role.
The 24-hour medical center will have RT-PCR diagnostic rapid tests and nasal swab tests as well as isolation wards with negative room pressure. Cabins can be converted into quarantine rooms if required.
Outbreak simulation drill
Prior to the inaugural sailing, Explorer Dream will participate in an outbreak simulation drill under the guidance of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control. Medical experts from the Taiwan Public Health Association will also consult on the drill with professional advice on the ship’s prevention and response plans to ensure the seamless execution of preventive measures both on board and on shore.
In response to the COVID-19, Genting Cruise Lines devised a new set of enhanced and comprehensive measures across the fleet. The company also worked with classification society DNV GL to adapt their Certification in Infection Prevention for the Marine industry and Explorer Dream became the world’s first cruise ship to achieve CIP-M certification.