Published: Thu, February 27, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ship turned away by Cayman amid coronavirus fears

Ship turned away by Cayman amid coronavirus fears

The ship can hold up to 5,386 passengers and a crew of more than 1500.

There are already some reports on Twitter that the ship is being denied entry to the Cayman Islands as well, however, we have seen no official statement made at this time.

The Meraviglia reached the West Coast of Cozumel on Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m. ET, a spokesperson for MSC Cruises told Fox News on Thursday.

The Mirror is reporting the Ministry of Health was scheduled to board the MSC Meraviglia when it arrived in Mexico and confirm the medical records stating the crew member was diagnosed with common seasonal flu and not the coronavirus.

"After waiting in port for almost four hours for formal clearance, ship's command chose to leave Ocho Rios for the next port of call as the long wait had compromised the passengers' proposed time at the destination".

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Last month, several Caribbean countries refused to allow a cruise liner to dock after some of the passengers had been placed in quarantine for fear of the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has more than 2 700 people mainly in China.

Nevertheless, Grand Cayman remains a popular port of call, and five ships, with a total passenger headcount of nearly 11,000, are still scheduled to visit George Town on Wednesday. After the ship's command reported one case of influenza onboard, Jamaican authorities, concerned that the man might have the coronavirus, said no one could disembark. This was reported to health authorities but as a precaution, the ship was denied firstly by Jamaica.

"In order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the Government denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled", health minister Dwayne Seymour said in a statement. Everyone is screened individually during embarkation and travel history is checked. According to the cruise line, the crew member embarked on the cruise after passing a mandatory health screening given to all passengers on the ship. The ship had left Miami to Jamaica, which also denied the ship to port.

"The Ministry of Health and the Public Health Department have reviewed the medical details of the person who has been isolated and the details of one other member of the ship's complement who is not well".

"MSC Cruises apologises for any inconvenience caused and the disappointment to its guests in connection with today's missed call due to the delay in receiving clearance". After that, the ship is slated to visit MSC's private island Ocean Cay before returning home to Miami on March 1. While there are no confirmed cases aboard this cruise ship, even the possibility of an outbreak is causing authorities to act with caution.

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