Cruise ship denied by Jamaica, Grand Cayman on coronavirus fears headed for Mexican port

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A passenger cruise ship is headed for Mexico’s port city of Cozumel after Jamaican and Grand Cayman authorities barred its passengers from disembarking due to fears of the fast-spreading coronavirus, ship operator MSC Cruises said on Wednesday.

MSC Cruises said the medical records of the MSC Meraviglia show “one single case of common seasonal flu” by a passenger who has not traveled in any areas impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The company added that the passenger was isolated for security measures but that no other cases of type A influenza have been discovered on board MSC Meraviglia and no coronavirus cases have been reported on any of its ships.

“The crewmember who was diagnosed with common seasonal flu is in a stable condition, receiving anti-viral treatment and medication, and is now free of fever and nearly recovered,” the company said.

MSC Cruises said authorities in Jamaica and Grand Cayman turned away the ship “simply based on fears” and added it is in contact with Mexican health authorities.

Cruise ships have been in the spotlight after confirmed coronavirus cases on British-registered Diamond Princess approached 700 with three deaths since the ship docked at a Japanese port on Feb. 3.

The new coronavirus is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China. But there have now been cases in at least 30 countries with large, spreading outbreaks in South Korean, Iran and Italy.

Mexican authorities were not immediately available to comment on the MSC ship.

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