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Dozens of passengers leave cruise ship in Italy after COVID outbreak

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
The MSC GRANDIOSA cruise ship.
The MSC GRANDIOSA cruise ship.   -   Copyright  MSC

Dozens of passengers were taken off a cruise ship in Genoa, Italy, after testing positive for COVID, the operator said.

At least 45 were removed from the MSC liner Grandiosa on Monday.

According to RaiNews24, some 150 passengers tested positive.

"As per protocol, the COVID-positive passengers and their relatives were immediately isolated in balcony cabins and received medical attention," MSC's communications department said.

Forty-five of them were taken off the ship in Genoa "to be taken home safely" at the company's expense, it added.

The Genoa port authorities confirmed to AFP that the Italian positive cases were taken home by the civil protection services, while foreign passengers who tested positive were transferred to medical facilities.

Other positive passengers will be disembarked in Civitavecchia, a port that serves Rome, or in Palermo, Sicily, it added.

According to the Genoa daily newspaper Il Secolo XIX there were some 4,000 passengers in all aboard the ship, which arrived in Genoa from Marseille.

After a long forced pause due to the pandemic, cruise lines resumed their activities in 2021. However, a sharp increase in the number of cases has been observed in recent weeks and blamed on the spread of the Omicron variant.