The decision was made in order to preserve the lives of people infected with Covid-19 and in the framework of the global health emergency. The cruise ship MS Braemar had requested humanitarian aid from several countries, and in all of them it was rejected.
The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez, reported that the government of the Caribbean island has made the decision to receive the British cruise ship MS Braemar, after the official request of the government of the United Kingdom. Rodríguez added that the cruise passengers will disembark in Cuba and the protocol established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and those of the Cuban Ministry of Health will apply to them.
Tras solicitud del gob británico, #Cuba ha autorizado atraque en el país el crucero MS Braemar, con pequeño número de viajeros diagnosticados con #Covid_19. Se adoptarán medidas sanitarias establecidas en protocolos de OMS y @MINSAPCuba para recibir a los pasajeros y tripulación
— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) March 16, 2020
“These are times of solidarity , of understanding health as a human right, of reinforcing international cooperation to face our common challenges, values that are inherent in the humanistic practice of the Revolution and of our people,” said the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The cruise ship MS Braemar is owned by the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines company, with whom the Cuban authorities have established communication in order to coordinate the docking.
Braemar arrived in Cartagena (Colombia) on Sunday, March 8, where an American landed who was the first diagnosed in that city. It had passed through at least four countries before arriving in Colombia, and had been rejected in the Dominican Republic last February 27, when another tour was ending, due to the fact that several passengers had “flu” symptoms. On March 13, it was rejected in the Bahamas.
The British and Cuban authorities agreed that once the passengers of the MS Braemar arrive, they will be sent to the United Kingdom on Charter flights. Previously, the Bahamas rejected the request to dock the MS Braemar in the country’s ports, so the cruise ship is anchored 25 miles from the Bahamas.
MS Braemar travelers include citizens of Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
The MS Braemar has more than 1,000 people on board and at least five have been confirmed with coronavirus (Covid-19). Among those infected are cruise ship crew and guests, which is why 21 workers and 22 passengers are kept isolated for presenting flu-like symptoms on the ship.
Different passengers expressed their gratitude to Cuba for its support on the networks. Anthea Guthrie, a 68-year-old passenger, was one of the people who expressed her thanks on her Facebook wall. “Could all my friends raise a glass for Cuba and remember that when no one else would let us disembark, Cuba stepped forward? Flying home from Cuba on Wednesday or Thursday. Love to all who have been following our great adventure,” she posted according to Granma.
Honestly, I am flooded with tears for their kindness. They have made us feel not only tolerated, but also welcome. Thanks to Cuba for having opened their hearts, we will never forget that it answered us when absolutely no one, and I want to say that NO ONE ELSE would. Tomorrow I will give a lecture on the ship about the Revolution, a movement that is in itself an object lesson in overcoming adversity. In your honor, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Featured image: Cruise ship MS Braemar (File photo)
Translated by JRE/EF