After a crew member of the cruise ship MSC Meraviglia was reported with flu symptoms, Jamaican and Cayman health authorities have refused to let passengers disembark. The ship carries more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members.
The ship was originally not allowed to dock in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, after a crew member onboard was unwell.
The MSC Meraviglia arrived in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, from Miami on February 25. After the ship’s command reported one case of influenza onboard, Jamaica did not give permission to passengers to disembark. The ship left Jamaica for its next port of call, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, after waiting to be cleared for about four hours.
The ship was to dock in Georgetown on February 26 morning, but the Caymanian Ministry of Health and Public Health Department, did not give permissions neither.
According to MSC, the crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed mandatory health screenings in Miami before embarking on the cruise on February 23. The company added that the crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul. More specifically, he developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza. He has no other symptoms.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health in Kingston, Jamaica said it was acting judiciously to block the ship. As it explained, 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.
Earlier this month, in an identical case, Holland America’s MS Westerdam ship was also turned away from five countries whose authorities were worried that people onboard might have Covid-19.
On February 14, Holland America Line’s cruise ship Westerdam finally disembarked its passengers in Cambodia’s coastal city Sihanoukville following the company’s updates that the 20 samples taken from passengers onboard the vessel were confirmed as negative.
Following disembark, a female passenger was tested positive for the coronavirus in Malaysia. However, the C.D.C. later informed that the woman’s diagnosis was a false positive.