Finally a month after passengers were rescued and medically evacuated to Australia from Uruguay, the 89 crew which remained trapped in the coronavirus infested “Greg Mortimer” cruise have started their long return home.
The last cruise of “Greg Mortimer” when it left Ushuaia on March 15th was an invitation to disaster, and now “we are asking for a humanitarian corridor to take us, as they did with passengers, to our home countries”, said Mauricio Usme, chief medical officer on board the Aurora Expeditions vessel.
The final leg of the humanitarian repatriation of passengers on board an Antarctic cruise, stranded in Uruguay and most of them testing positive for coronavirus, ended Wednesday afternoon when they boarded in Uruguay's Carrasco international airport a sanitary charter to Miami.
The Uruguayan government announced on Tuesday that it will evacuate the remaining passengers on the Antarctic cruise ship Greg Mortimer through a second humanitarian corridor. There will be about 15 passengers who have remained in the ship anchored in front of the port of Montevideo, where there are people with the COVID-19 disease.
The last passengers residing on an Australian ocean liner, anchored off Montevideo for more than two weeks with cases of COVID-19 on board, will be evacuated to the United States by a medical chartered flight, announced on Tuesday the American embassy in Uruguay.
The sanitary charter aircraft contracted to repatriate Australians on board the coronavirus infected “Greg Mortimer” cruise, stranded off the Uruguayan coast is expected this Thursday in Montevideo, and will be flying to Melbourne on Saturday according to foreign ministry sources.
A charter flight is expected in Montevideo on Thursday, April 9 to pick up and fly home to Australia most of passengers and crew on the “Greg Mortimer”, the cruise vessel stranded off the coast of Uruguay for the last two weeks because 128 people on board have tested positive for Covid 19.
Eighty-one people on the Greg Mortimer cruise ship, which has been stranded off the coast of Uruguay for almost two weeks and has over 90 Australians on board, have tested positive for coronavirus.
Uruguay's foreign and public health ministers have said that none of the over 200 people on board the cruise vessel Greg Mortimer will be allowed to disembark in Montevideo for the moment since several passengers and crew members seem to have coronavirus symptoms.
The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and two IAATO Member Operators, Aurora Expeditions and Oceanwide Expeditions, took part in a live Search and Rescue Communications Exercise in collaboration with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) Ushuaia, Argentina.