COVID-19 has hit the world hard. With almost a curfew over a majority of the lands, seaways have also been equally affected by the pandemic. Cruise corona began with the identification of a ship that had more than 50% of exposed patients. It travelled and debarked on seaports further spreading the infection. Soon after this revelation, ships have not been able to enter any port. 13th March was when the Cruise Lines International Association decided to ban and immediately suspend all shipping operations from the US. The suspension was to remain for 30 days.
However, in the light of recent events, the suspension is expected to extend and this has affected many lives. Australia is a distant land and surrounded by waters is facing a lot of problems, since nobody can get in or out of the country. Trade has also faced a decline. And the ban continues, not only on cruises and ships but on everything else. Countries, worldwide are in the state of lockdowns and the movement has been limited. But in the midst of all this, we have other problems on the seas and oceans.
Around 3.6% of the ships are still stranded in the water and are not allowed to enter any port. With this scenario going on, many people are far away from their families and are potentially exposed to COVID-19 because the rumours are that many patients are aboard. If we are to statistically review the situation, currently thousands of people including the crew members are stranded in different parts of the world. They have been restricted to the ships and have been there for almost a month now. Around 15 ships are said to be sailing throughout the world and no one exactly knows what their fate is.
CLIA, who owns 277 ships states that around five ships are still at sea waiting for a signal from anywhere in the world so they can at least touch the ground. The industry has appealed to seaside countries and governments to let the ships enter their ports so that the people aboard may reach their homes safely but the world remains silent. Nobody knows how long the people aboard can make it with the limited necessities available on ships. However, one ship, the Vasco da Gama has docked in Australia carrying 798 Australians and 108 New Zealanders. All of these passengers will spend 2 weeks in quarantine to check for COVID-19 and will then be released. Hopefully, other ships will also reach their ports soon.