An astounding 195 passengers are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea after eating at a bottomless buffet aboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). One passenger posted a video to Facebook showing crew members spraying sleeping quarter hallways after the boat docked in Tasmania on its 14-day trip at sea.
“I’m on here now and basically a sitting duck with people in both cabins either side not well with the gastro,” someone commented on the video. “They are doing everything perfectly to avoid further sickness. I could hear them last night doing this spraying outside my cabin.”
Following the recognition of mass gastrointestinal sickness, restaurants were closed and other food services had stopped serving finger foods. Royal Caribbean International, which owns the 5,800-passenger vessel, has released a statement that reads: “Those affected by the short-lived illness were treated by our ship’s doctors with over-the-counter medication. Meanwhile, we’re taking steps like intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk of any further issues.”
Authorities in Tasmania are also helping passengers to recover. Three ambulances arrived on the scene when the boat arrived in Hobart. Five guests were transported to a local hospital for further medical assistance.
“It is not unusual for gastroenteritis outbreaks to occur aboard cruise ships, just as it is within the normal population,” a Tasmanian Health Service spokesperson told ABC. “Cruise ships have their own medical teams, medical surveillance systems, outbreak control measures, and are well-trained in treating passengers.”
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