Brazil Halts Costa Cruise Ship's Operations After COVID Outbreak

costa diadema
Costa Diadema (file image courtesy Z Thomas / CC BY SA 4.0)

Published Dec 31, 2021 4:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday, Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) announced that it has suspended the operations of the cruise ship Costa Diadema, which docked recently at the Brazilian port of Salvador with 68 COVID cases on board.  

Anvisa and local health agencies have declared the outbreak a "community transmission of Covid-19, level 4" incident, according to CNN Brasil. Until the agency has completed an assessment of the situation on board, Costa Diadema will transit to her home port of Santos, where she will disembark the remainder of her passengers. 

The COVID-positive individuals have disembarked in Salvador, along with passengers who are local residents. Brazil's Strategic Health Information Centers (Cievs) will monitor their onward travel. 

For the next leg of her voyage, "the vessel will continue under restrictions during navigation [and] all non-essential activities on board must be interrupted and the sanitary safety protocols inside the vessel must be complied with until its final destination in Santos," Anvisa said in a statement. 

The Diadema arrived Thursday at Salvador with more than five dozen confirmed COVID cases. The ship counted 56 crewmembers and 12 passengers infected out of a total complement of 3,800 people on board. According to Anvisa, the majority of the individuals who tested positive are asymptomatic. There are only a few passengers with mild symptoms, and no serious cases reported. 

The voyage was Diadema's inaugural sailing from the port of Santos. She arrived on a transit voyage from the Mediterranean on December 20, then took on passengers and departed on an itinerary for Salvador and Ilheus, returning January 3.  

Top image: Costa Diadema at Palma, 2019 (Z Thomas / CC BY SA 4.0)