Cruise Ship Denied Entry Following Coronavirus Concerns
A decision was made by local officials to stop a cruise ship from calling on the Virgin Islands today, February 26 following Corona Virus concerns.
“After consultation with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and other senior health officials, a decision was made that cruise ship M/V Costa Favolosa will not be allowed to call on the Virgin Islands today,” a statement from Government indicated.
According to the Government, it was reported that a number of passengers had flown directly from Italy and had joined the ship in Guadeloupe within the last six days.
“This period is within the 14-day incubation period of COVID-19. It was also reported that 5 passengers had fallen ill with 3 testing positive for the Influenza A Virus, and are isolated on board the ship. It was determined that the ship was unable to conduct the test for the presence or absence of COVID-19,” the Government stated.
Further, Government stated that in light of the public and health safety actions being taken in Italy in reaction to COVID-19, including the quarantine of select cities and cancellation of its own carnival activities, a decision was made to err on the side of caution.
“Following Cabinet being apprised by the CMO and health officials, the Ministry of Health and Social Development is in continued discussions, and is working with all cruise lines calling on the BVI to ensure enhanced health and safety screening procedures and practices. The cruise industry is of critical importance to the Territory and all efforts would be jointly made on a case-by-case basis to ensure the health and safety of residents and guests,” the Government stated.
The Government has reassured the public that it remains vigilant in ensuring that the safety and health of the people of the Virgin Islands and its visitors are foremost in the decision-making process.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development advises citizens and residents to exercise a high degree of caution when traveling to South Korea, Singapore and Italy (northern Italy) in response to the increase of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) cases.
Travellers to these locations should avoid outbreak areas or contact with sick persons. Travellers should also frequently clean hands by washing with soap and water for approximately 20 seconds or using a 70 percent to 95 percent alcohol-based sanitizer.
The COVID-19 virus spreads from human to human and is very transmissible at short distances. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, with elderly persons and those with pre-existing conditions being more vulnerable to severe illness or death.