Twenty-one people aboard a Grand Princess cruise ship tested positive for COVID-19, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told CNN on March 7. The ship has been quarantined near the cost of California since March 4.
Among the 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess, 49 are Ukrainian nationals. The citizenship of those infected remains unknown but CNN reported that 19 of the infected are crew members. People from 54 countries are reported to be on board the ship.
The ship was quarantined after a previous passenger became the first person to die from COVID-19 in California. According to U.S. authorities, most of the ship’s 1,100 crew members took part in both trips, sparking fears of a potential epidemic.
The vessel left San Francisco en route to Hawaii 10 days ago, but abandoned the trip and returned to U.S. coastal waters. On March 5, virus test kits were dropped from helicopter onto the ship, with positive results being recorded two days later.
The Ukrainian Consulate in San Francisco reported that it is currently determining whether Ukrainians are among those infected.
The Grand Princess isn’t the first cruise ship that has been quarantined because of the respiratory disease.
On Feb. 5, the Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined near Yokohama, Japan, after 10 people were diagnosed with coronavirus. Of the 3,711 people aboard, at least 698 people were later infected, and six people died. Among the 25 Ukrainians on the Diamond Princess, four came down with Covid-19 and later recovered.
As of March 7, over 102,000 people in 91 countries were diagnosed with Covid-19 and 3,493 people have died. On March 3, a man was diagnosed with Covid-19 in Chernivtsi, a town 250,000 people on the Romanian border. It was the first officially recorded case in Ukraine.
Several people are currently in quarantine in Ukraine as a safety precaution.
Ukrainian lawmaker Oleg Voloshyn voluntarily isolated himself in his own apartment after meeting on Feb. 27, his French counterpart who was later diagnosed with the virus and placed in intensive care.
Voloshyn attended parliament on multiple occasions, including the emergency session to appointment the new government, on March 4.