Royal Caribbean cruise ship Quantum of the Seas sailed back to Singapore seven hours early on Wednesday night (20 January) after a passenger became ill at sea.
On Thursday morning, the company said that the passenger’s illness was due to a medical condition that is unrelated to COVID-19. The passenger was taken immediately to a hospital upon arriving onshore.
The same ship, which has been conducting cruises to nowhere—borne out of tightening border controls due to the global pandemic—was turned back on the third day of a four-day journey on 9 December after an elderly passenger tested positive for COVID-19.
The elderly passenger underwent a mandatory COVID-19 test prior to boarding but the results were negative. However, he later reported to the onboard medical centre with diarrhoea. A second PCR test taken on board came back positive.
This resulted in the ship turning back around to head back to Singapore, where passengers and crew disembarked after contract tracing was completed.
In a twist, two further PCR tests conducted on the elderly passenger when he was back on land came back negative for coronavirus.
Quantum of the Seas then resumed its service on 14 December.