Local December 30, 2021 | 1:36 pm

88 cruise ships investigated due to pollution wave affecting Florida state

The cruise ships resumed their work 6 months ago. AP

Miami, United States
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more cruise ships due to new cases of Covid-19 as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus causes exceptionally high levels in Florida, the center of the industry.

The CDC said 88 vessels are being investigated or observed but did not specify how many Covid-19 cases have been reported. The CDC is also monitoring four vessels.

Florida hit a record high for daily cases Tuesday with 46,900. Since Christmas, the seven-day average of daily cases had surpassed records even in the summer, when it reached 29,400 infections.

Hospitalizations for the coronavirus in the state have also increased from about 1,200 patients two weeks ago to about 3,400 on Wednesday. But that’s still about one-fifth the number of hospitalizations reported in late August from the delta variant. Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal called on the CDC and cruise lines to re-suspend cruises six months after the industry launched its comeback.

“Our warnings have proven to be sadly prophetic and continually compelling. The time has come for the CDC and the cruise lines to protect customers, take a break again, dock their ships,” tweeted the senator from Connecticut. Cruise lines have not announced plans to suspend travel.

Several Florida-based ships have reported outbreaks. For example, Carnival Freedom was denied entry to Aruba and Bonaire after an undisclosed number of passengers and crew on board were infected with the virus.

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