Brazil sanitary body recommends definitive halt to cruising season

The move comes after a steep surge in COVID-19 cases aboard ships

Published in 13/01/2022 - 12:58 By Marcelo Brandão - Brasília

Brazil’s national drug regulator Anvisa on Wednesday (Jan. 12) recommended the definitive suspension of Brazil’s cruising season. The decision was made following an “exponential increase” in the number of cases of COVID-19 on such vessels, especially among crew members. The recommendation was submitted to the Health Ministry and the president’s chief of staff.

The agency had been gauging the spread of COVID-19 on cruise ships as part of its own protocols governing ship operations. These procedures, Anvisa declared, were crucial in identifying changes in the number of cases on board.

On December 31, 2021, Anvisa recommended the temporary suspension of cruising. In the days preceding the decision, ship MSC Splendida, docked at São Paulo’s Santos port, and Costa Diadema, in Salvador, Bahia state, halted their activities as a result of spikes in the COVID-19 case tally.

After the provisional halt, Anvisa considered the epidemiological scenario and decided to recommend the definitive suspension, on account of the steep surge in cases both on cruise ships and across the country as a whole.

“Anvisa understands that the present scenario is unfavorable to the continuity of cruising operations. Therefore, C the note reads.

By January 6, 1,177 cases of COVID-19 had been reported among crew members and passengers—a solid growth in the case tally on ships. “This expansion is confirmed by the data available, which include the identification of 31 cases of COVID-19 in the first 55 days of the season (Nov. 1–Dec. 26) and a particularly dramatic surge starting on December 26, with 1,146 cases in just 12 days (Dec. 16–Jan. 6), which shows it increased by 37 times in this time span.”

Brazil has observed an accentuated rise in cases of COVID-19. In 24 hours, 87,471 cases of the disease were registered. A week ago (5), the number of positive diagnoses stood at 27,267—a third of the amount today. On December 31, 2021, 10,282 cases of COVID-19 were reported.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fábio Massalli

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