Sunday 27 September, 2020

Negative! Sheer joy on Carnival Fascination after COVID-19 scare

Carnival Fascination docked off of Barbados' South coast.

Carnival Fascination docked off of Barbados' South coast.

There are no cases of COVID-19 in Barbados.

The tests conducted out of an abundance of caution on samples from a member aboard Carnival Fascination as it remained docked in Barbados' Bridgetown Sea Port, have returned negative for the new coronavirus.

Two thousand guests including 37 Bajans, along with 900 staff members, erupted with elation when this news was delivered to them by the Hon Mia Mottley.

However, the CARICOM Chair and Prime Minister of Barbados spoke to the Barbadians separately first saying:

"We really just wanted first and foremost to welcome you home. We wanted to speak to first before we speak to others on the ship and the capitan, because our home drums beat first, but also to let you know that we have done all of the tests. All of the tests are negative. Therefore there is no reason for us to give you another 14-day vacation."

Her announcement to the Barbadians was met with loud cheers and rousing applause. They even laughed at her hinting that they may have landed themselves one-way tickets to the Quarantine Centre setup in St Lucy had the test results been different for a two-week stay.

But she also said that she wanted to see her citizens face-to-face because she knows that they may have been fearful and on the verge of panic after St Lucia turned away the cruise ship the day before.

She said:

"The same way we were concerned, we figured that once you realised that you weren't going into St Lucia that a number of you would have been concerned as to what is happening and then all of you have phones and WiFi and all of the other things, so we really just came to be able to hug you and to say to you 'Thank you for being safe, for being home'."

Some of those who returned shouted replies of "Thank you" as well.

The Foreign Affairs Minister and the Health Minister were on the phone with the Chief Medical Officer from Wednesday night and she publicly thanked them for their way of handling the situation to bring about tonight's result in 24 hours.

Afterwards, Barbados' leader addressed everyone onboard the Carnival Fascination to put to be all fears. Firstly welcoming them to Barbados, she added: "We came on board tonight to let you know all is well, that we have done the tests."

Mottley said that the turnaround and outcome were only able because the ministries in Barbados worked with Carnival to put all the concerns and interests of each non-Barbadian passenger and crew members at "primary consideration" along with those of "our population".

She urged that Barbados stuck to the protocols that "we have developed" and worked with all the relevant agencies.

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