Many cruise lines are currently looking all over the place for innovative methods that could potentially curb the spread of coronavirus on their ships. This is an absolutely essential step that must be taken for them to re-open. It’s not only a move that makes financial sense despite any initial investment costs in systems that might help with the virus, but it also helps us deal with the pandemic worldwide more effectively. Everyone wants to begin travelling again as quickly as possible, but it isn’t a realistic option until cruise lines can find effective ways to keep their ships safe.
There are several important issues in the way, though. The first, and perhaps more important, is a lack of widespread testing. If testing were easy to access, cheap and accurate, safety could be guaranteed on cruise ships up to a pretty reassuring level of confidence. When tests are less available than they need to be, innovation needs to happen. Some cruise lines may adopt thermal cameras to detect any temperature fluctuations that may be happening to sick individuals, but this obviously misses asymptomatic cases that might still be spreading the virus. Diligent disinfecting is also incredibly important, and will likely be adopted by all cruise lines, but it doesn’t account for person-to-person spread.
One company is looking to provide a completely different system that will help reduce spread. Halton, a company that has long been manufacturing what is known as indoor environment solutions, has developed mobile isolation units that can be used to bolster the onboard health care on ships. The main goal of these units is to provide a comfortable and safe spot to quarantine anyone who comes down with the virus while on the ship. It is equipped with controls that allow for negative room pressure, which will prevent droplets or any other contaminants traveling from the individual to anyone else on the ship. This is important because, according to expert testimony, the poor filtration in the air vents on cruise ships allows for the virus to spread without close person-to-person contact.
According to Halton, they will be able to create these units and deliver them in working condition to any cruise line that needs them. This will not ultimately be a miracle cure that allows for cruise ships to operate worry-free, but it can take some stress off. Having a few of these on ships will keep healthy travelers safer, as well as giving optimal health care to those who need it.