CRUISES have been hard hit by the outbreak of Coronavirus and yesterday MSC Meraviglia was rejected from two Caribbean ports amid fears that a crew member on board the MSC Cruises ship was sick.
Cruise ship MSC Meraviglia was turned away from two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday. The rejection came amid fears of the spread of coronavirus. The MSC Meraviglia was denied permission to dock in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.
Authorities were concerned the sickness was a result of coronavirus.
However, the cruise line claims his illness is down to common seasonal flu and insist no cases of coronavirus have been reported on any MSC ships.
MSC is “extremely disappointed” with the double rejection.
The ship is now sailing onward to Cozumel, Mexico, the next scheduled port of call.
The Jamaican Ministry of Health released a statement yesterday.
It stated: “A cruise line with over 4,500 passengers and over 1,600 crew members was today (Tuesday, February 25, 2020) denied access to the port of call in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
“The vessel arrived at approximately 8:30 a.m. and upon inspection by the Port Health Officials, it was discovered that a crew member was placed in isolation on board.
“The crew member had a cough, fever and associated muscle pains with a travel history to a country of interest relating to the COVID-19.”
Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, also released a statement.
He said: “In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled.”
MSC have said that the sick crew member and all passengers onboard the Meraviglia had passed a health screening before boarding the ship at the weekend.
The cruise ship departed Miami on Sunday and was scheduled to complete a 15-day cruise of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras, returning to Miami on March 8, according to an itinerary.
MSC said in a statement sent to Express.co.uk today: “MSC Cruises is extremely disappointed that Jamaican authorities yesterday delayed a decision for many hours to give our ship the necessary clearance to disembark guests, despite us having provided detailed medical records to the local health and national authorities ahead of its arrival as per normal protocol.
“Similarly, the decision taken overnight by the Grand Cayman authorities to refuse disembarkation at Georgetown was made without even reviewing the ship’s medical records, which show one single case of common seasonal flu (type A influenza) affecting one crew member with a travel history clearly showing no passages through territories either affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or subject to any international health restrictions. In both instances, the ship was effectively turned away simply based on fears.
“MSC Meraviglia is currently at sea on her way to Cozumel, Mexico, her next scheduled port of call.