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St. Lucia turns away cruise ship over virus fears

PortandTerminal.com, February 3, 2020

A cruise ship operated by German cruise line AIDA Cruises has been refused entry at the port of Castries, Saint Lucia, with some passengers on board having respiratory issues.

CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA – On February 1, 2020, the AIDA Perla, carrying about 3,000 passengers, was not authorized to enter the Caribbean port as some guests were suffering upper respiratory tract infections.

The 125,572 GT ship was turned away amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

READ: Cruise ships to deny boarding to anyone who has been in China in past 14 days

However, AIDA Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation, denied the possibility that any of AIDA Perla’s passengers were affected by the deadly disease.

“There was no suspicion of cases of the novel coronavirus on board the vessel at any time,” the cruise company stressed. That claim though was disputed by Mary Isaac, Health Minister of St. Lucia who confirmed in an interview that “sick passengers” on board the AIDA Perla were suffering from respiratory tract infections.

St Lucia, like other Caribbean countries, has activated its coronavirus response plan with the Department of Health & Wellness stating that it continues to monitor the international situation.

READ: Possible Virus Case Traps 7,000 on Carnival Cruise Ship in Italy

On January 30, over 6,000 passengers onboard another Carnival Corporation’s ship, Costa Smeralda, was held all day in Italy amid fears that one of the passengers might have been infected with the coronavirus. After a female passenger underwent medical tests that were negative for coronavirus, guests were allowed to disembark.

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