Over 6,000 passengers who were kept on board a cruise ship in Italy all day Thursday amid fears that one of the passengers might have been infected with coronavirus have received clearance to disembark.
The decision was announced after a female passenger, who was experiencing flu-like symptoms and fever, underwent medical tests to rule out a possible link to the deadly coronavirus.
The woman in her 50ies and her husband, both reportedly of Chinese nationality, boarded Costa Smeralda on Saturday, January 25, and were put in isolation on Wednesday night after coming down with the flu-like symptoms. The Italian authorities banned anyone from disembarking the ship until medical tests were conducted, putting the ship on lockdown.
“Carnival Corporation & plc and the company’s Italian brand Costa Cruises have confirmed that Italian health officials diagnosed a passenger on board a ship docked in Civitavecchia, north of Rome, Italy with the common flu. The ship will resume its Mediterranean program on Friday,” Carnival said in a statement on Thursday.
“Guests who should have disembarked today can either disembark or remain on board overnight, at their discretion. All guests scheduled to embark today will be accommodated in hotels near the port and embark on Friday.”
Cruise liners had to suspend their sailings from China amid efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
Royal Caribbean Cruises said it had canceled three more sailings through Feb 8th on Spectrum of the Seas, homeported in China.
The move follows the cancellations of sailings on the Quantum-class cruise ship that were scheduled to depart on January 27 and January 31 from Shanghai.
MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises also had to suspend several of their sailings planned for this and next week in order to comply with the measures being undertaken by the Chinese authorities to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Initial estimates indicate that the death toll from the coronavirus in China stands at 170, with 7,711 confirmed cases of infections.