Leading Queensland doctors stranded on cruise ship
SOME of Queensland's leading doctors are stuck on a cruise ship stranded off the coast of Chile, unable to return to Australia to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 20 senior Queensland physicians are on a medical industry conference-cruise onboard the MS Roald Amundsen, which is now floating helplessly off the Chilean coast after the South American country shut its borders two days ago.
It is understood several Queensland doctors onboard the ship are directly involved in the coronavirus fight, working at some of the state's top hospitals.
They boarded the conference-cruise in Chile nearly three weeks ago - long before the escalation which has now left international travel in disarray.
They were due to leave the cruise two days ago with the ship now stranded agonisingly close to the coast.
Across the globe, international travel restrictions are ramping up to unprecedented levels, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing similarly tough measures for our borders.
The Courier-Mail understands dozens of Queensland medics are among the 100 Australian doctors and dentists onboard the ship.
So far, the Chilean government has not budged in allowing the ship to dock, while plans have also been discussed to divert the ship to the Falkland Islands - a British territory off the coast of Argentina, to allow passengers to travel home.
However, no course of action has yet been decided.