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Mexican health officials have confirmed that there are no coronavirus (Covid-19) cases on board MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia cruise ship after it was turned away by Jamaica and Cayman Islands.
The health officials have conducted medical examinations for two sick people on board, a crew member and a female passenger who had flu. As a preventive measure, the authorities also carried out additional overnight tests.
The Mexican Ministry of Public Health laboratory in Chetumal examined the samples and the results came back negative.
The cruise ship was denied entry by the Caribbean nations Jamaica and Cayman Islands over fears that it carried the virus. MSC Cruises said that the authorities from both countries ‘decided to ignore the same established health protocols’.
Even though the cruise ship received permission from Mexico, MSC Meraviglia was stuck near the pilot station on 27 February due to 35-40k winds and stormy conditions and later on was allowed to dock at the port.
MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “The Mexican authorities followed the correct maritime protocols whereby a ship in advance provides medical records of any passenger or crew member who is or has been unwell to the next port she visits.”
”We would like to thank the Mexican authorities for their preventative health professionalism, which is the only way to demonstrate certainty to populations ashore, as well as to guests and crew on board.”
The cruise ship passengers will be permitted to disembark at Cozumel and spend one day on the shore. The ship will return back to Miami, Florida, US, on 1 March.
MSC Cruises has announced a full refund to all 4,580 guests on board as the cruise was disrupted.