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Cruise Ship Returns to Singapore After Coronavirus Case Discovered

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise ship is moored at Marina Bay Cruise Center after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a cruise to nowhere, in Singapore, Dec. 9, 2020.

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned to port in Singapore Wednesday, cutting short a four-day cruise after a passenger was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said a guest on the Quantum of the Seas ship "tested positive for coronavirus after checking in with our medical team."

The cruise line said they had identified the guest and isolated the passengers and crew who had been in contact with him. They said each of those individuals had since tested negative.

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Royal Caribbean said the ship returned to port in accordance with government protocols and will allow guests to leave after a review of contact tracing is completed.

Singapore's The Straits Times newspaper reports the patient on the Quantum of the Seas who tested positive is an 83-year-old resident. The paper reports 1,680 guests and 1,148 crew members were on board the vessel.

Singapore recently began a "safe cruising" pilot program, conducting so-called “cruises to nowhere,” in which ships make round trips to Singapore with no stops in between. The trips, which feature strict safety measures, including pre-board testing of all passengers and limited capacity, have been popular during the pandemic when most travel has been banned or strictly limited.

The paper reported that Singapore, a small but wealthy city-state in Southeast Asia, has reported 58,285 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began and 29 deaths.