Washington, Mar 18 (PTI) The Indian Embassy here is in touch with the Indian crew members on board the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship and is extending all necessary assistance, officials said.
The Grand Princess, which circled at sea off the coast of California for days before docking at the Port of Oakland, finally began setting sail Monday morning - to a spot in San Francisco Bay, the local Mercury News reported.
"We are in touch with shipping company & US authorities regarding welfare of the Indian crew on Grand Princess. The crew is required to undergo mandatory quarantine," India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, tweeted on Tuesday.
"We are extending all necessary assistance & will facilitate their return to India on completion of the quarantine," he said.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Sunday that the ship would anchor in the bay for two weeks, with 75 medical workers brought on board to care for the 340 crew members and six foreign passengers during the 14-day quarantine.
As many as 21 of the 2,500 passengers of the Grand Princess had tested positive for coronavirus. According to USA Today, more than 500 of the 1,100 crew members have disembarked over the weekend and gone home.
The cruise company has announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing from March 12 to May 10.
In a statement issued over the weekend, the Grand Princess said the crew members disembarking would undergo the same health screenings as guests from the ship, which continues to be managed by the HHS and the CDC health authorities.
"Crew members who are ill (for any reason) or symptomatic will not be allowed to fly via chartered aircraft. Crew members who are not symptomatic but from whom no charter flight is currently available will stay under quarantine on the ship. Those requiring elevated care will be moved to land-based medical facilities or HHS alternate care sites, depending on their condition," the statement said.
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