Nearly 70 Turks on cruise ship test positive for coronavirus

Nearly 70 Turkish nationals aboard a Greek cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus and are being treated on the vessel off the Greek coast, Hürriyet newspaper reported on Monday, citing the Turkish ambassador in Athens.

The Greek cruise ship, leased by a Turkish company, was stranded off the Greek port of Piraeus after being placed under quarantine with several passengers and crew among the 383 people on board infected with COVID-19.

There are a total of 151 Turkish nationals on the ship and nearly 70 of them have tested positive for the coronavirus, the ambassador said.

The Turks who tested negative have been put in a 14-day quarantine and will be evacuated to Turkey after the isolation period, he said.

The ship was carrying shipyard workers to Cadiz in southern Spain, but it was turned away from its destination after Spain imposed travel restrictions to combat the deadly coronavirus.

When the vessel returned to Turkey, the captain rejected a decision by the Turkish authorities to evacuate only Turkish citizens from the ship and leave the remaining people on board, according to a statement by the company that leased the cruise ship.