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Third cruise ship refused port due to fears of coronavirus

The Dominican Republic turned a cruise ship away Thursday amid concerns that several passengers displayed possible coronavirus symptoms, the third such ship turned away from port amid concerns over the virus.

The Dominican Public Health Ministry and Port Authority said in a joint statement that four Filipinos, two British citizens and two U.S. citizens on board the Braemar are under observation for symptoms including trouble breathing, coughing and fever, The Associated Press reported.

The Braemar has reported “a small number of influenza-like cases on board. Our medical team has now advised that they are all feeling better,” Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines told the AP in a statement. “No guests or crew are, or have been, displaying symptoms that are considered to be consistent with those of Coronavirus.”

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The ship is carrying 1,128 passengers and 384 crew members, according to officials, and the line said it is “in discussions with the Dominican Ministry of Health and are awaiting advice on the next steps.”

Public Health Minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas said officials have “have ordered that [the ship] returns to its destination,” saying the ship had already been barred from another unspecified port.

The announcement came the same day the MSC Meraviglia was allowed to dock in the port of Cozumel, Mexico, after being turned away in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands over similar concerns. No cases of the virus have been confirmed in Mexico as of Thursday.

The HS Westerdam, meanwhile, was turned away by four countries before being allowed to dock in Cambodia earlier in February.