London, March 18 (Prensa Latina) The company that owns the British cruise ship MS Braemar thanked Cuba this Wednesday for allowing the berthing of the ship affected by an outbreak of Covid-19, and helping in the repatriation of its passengers to the United Kingdom.
On behalf of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to the Cuban authorities, the port of Mariel and the people of Cuba for their support, said the shipping company’s managing director, Peter Deer, in a statement.
After recalling that other countries denied port to the ship after several cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on board, the businessman stressed that thanks to the generosity of the Cubans, now tourists and crew members can return to their homes.
‘Your support will not be forgotten. From the bottom of my heart, thank you,’ said Deer, who also thanked the various agencies of the British government, which, he said, worked full-time to find ways to repatriate passengers without having to cross the Atlantic by sea.
According to the statement, the repatriation of the 1,000 people, including tourists and crew members, began on Wednesday, shortly after the ship’s arrival in the port of Mariel, some 50 kilometers west of Havana.
Most of the passengers and crew will depart this afternoon from Havana’s international airport to London on three flights chartered to British Airways, while a fourth plane will take the infected patients to Wiltshire air base in southwest England.
The sick who do not feel well to make the trip will be able to remain in Cuba, where they will be guaranteed medical treatment, the text added.
The day before, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab thanked the British Parliament for Cuba’s gesture in allowing the cruise to dock and helping with the repatriation of the passengers.
The local newspaper The Independent said Wednesday that the decision by the Cuban authorities was a ‘true sign of global solidarity.’
After pointing out that Cuba acted altruistically in response to the request made by its British counterpart, the newspaper stressed that this is not the first time that the country has supported the world in an emergency.