COVID-19: in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton

Alvin J. Ing*, Christine Cocks, Jeffery Peter Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


We describe what we believe is the first instance of complete COVID-19 testing of all passengers and crew on an isolated cruise ship during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 217 passengers and crew on board, 128 tested positive for COVID-19 on reverse transcription-PCR (59%). Of the COVID-19-positive patients, 19% (24) were symptomatic; 6.2% (8) required medical evacuation; 3.1% (4) were intubated and ventilated; and the mortality was 0.8% (1). The majority of COVID-19-positive patients were asymptomatic (81%, 104 patients). We conclude that the prevalence of COVID-19 on affected cruise ships is likely to be significantly underestimated, and strategies are needed to assess and monitor all passengers to prevent community transmission after disembarkation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-694
Number of pages2
Issue number8
Early online date27 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • ARDS
  • clinical epidemiology
  • pneumonia
  • respiratory infection
  • viral infection


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