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Second cruise ship turned away from multiple ports over possible coronavirus

Second cruise ship turned away from multiple ports over possible coronavirus
© getty YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 05: The Diamond Princess cruise ship with around 3,700 people on board sits anchored in quarantine off the port of Yokohama

A second cruise ship has been refused entry at multiple ports over fears of coronavirus among those on board.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the MSC Meraviglia was refused entry in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands after a crew member reported flu-like symptoms, raising fears from health officials in the two countries of a possible coronavirus transmission.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” said Cayman Islands health minister Dwayne Seymour.

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“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,” added Jamaica's health ministry in a statement to the Times.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, however, MSC Cruises contended that the crew member had undergone proper health screenings in Miami and not exhibited further symptoms indicating coronavirus was present.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC said, according to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The dispute comes just weeks after a cruise ship operated by Holland America Line was refused entry by four east Asian countries over fears of coronavirus, though cruise line officials maintained that no passengers or crew members on board tested positive or showed signs of the disease.