Dominican Republic port denies cruise ship entry over COVID-19 fear

Published on : Friday, February 28, 2020

On Thursday, Dominican Republic port authorities refused them entry and turned away a cruise ship over coronavirus outbreak fears. The cruise ship was on a tour of Central America and the Caribbean. In light of the widespread reach of the COVID-19 virus, fear rose in the ship over the doubt of a few passengers having coronavirus.



The cruise was travelling with approximately 1500 boarders. Among them, around 1,128 were passengers and 384 were crew members. The ship was being operated by Bonheur ASA’s Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. The captain of the Braemer ship reported that the vessel was carrying nearly 8 passengers who showed symptoms such as fever, cough and respiratory issues. According to the Public Health Ministry of the Dominican Republic, amongst the sick passengers, there were four Filipinos, two Britons and two Americans.



On arrival at the Dominican Republic, local officials refused to allow passengers to leave the cruise ship. According to Health Minister Rafael Sanchez Cardenas, a medical team was sent to the U.K. based cruise and checked people who showed the symptoms. However, Cardenas did not mention the result of the tests or if the medical team detected cases of coronavirus.



Later, the cruise lines clarified through a press statement that their medical informed all the passengers who have been sick previously was feeling well. They also confirmed that no crew members, guests or passengers are presently or in the past showcased any symptoms that are associated with the deadly coronavirus. They also termed the entire scenario as a case of “overreaction.” They also added that the decision was a result of a small group of medical cases on-board was similar to that of influenza.



Victor Gomez, Director, Port Authority Dominican Republic said in a press brief that it is better to take precautions rather than being open to risks.


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