Published on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cruise ship with sick crew member turned away from Caribbean ports

A cruise ship carrying 4,500 passengers was denied entry at two Caribbean ports due to coronavirus fears.

The MSC Meraviglia was turned away from Ochos Rios, Jamaica and Grand Cayman after it was revealed a sick crew member is under isolation on the ship.

The worker has flu-like symptoms and has travel history to a country with COVID-19.

According to Jamaica's Ministry of Health and Wellness, the ship was inspected by port health officials and after hearing of the sick crew member, it was denied docking at the port.

"We saw that there was somebody there who is in quarantine because that person came from the Philippines and the 14 days have not elapsed," Angenice Whyte, public relations officer at the North East Regional Health Authority, told the Gleaner.

Cayman health minister Dwayne Seymour made a similar decision.

"In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents, the Government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman," Seymour said in a statement.

The Cayman ministry of health also said it discovered a second person described as 'not well.'

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the government is taking no chances even though the sick crew member was tested for the virus and does not have it.

"However we are taking all possible precautions," the PM said.

The ship is due to call at Cozumel, Mexico and the Bahamas before heading back to Miami.


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