The New York City’s officials told Friday that over two dozen people on board a Norwegian cruise ship had been screened for the new coronavirus, with four had been admitted to hospital.
Personnel from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) boarded the ship to test at least 27 passengers “who recently came from mainland China,” Phil Murphy, the New Jersey Governor said Friday.
“After being tested by CDC, 23 of those travelers were cleared, and four are being sent to a nearby hospital for further evaluation,” Murphy said.
The ship, which named as Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, is docked in Bayonne, New Jersey, around 15 miles away from the New York City.
Hospitalized passengers belong to the same family who was recently in mainland China but not in the Hubei Province, the CDC said, adding that the two of them were sick when personnel boarded the ship. The remaining two were taken out on stretchers, as shown by footage of the scene shows.
According to Royal Caribbean, the passengers had not been in China since January 26, which probably put them past the 14-day incubation period.
The Norway-based cruise company highlighted in its statement that two of the passengers had already tested positive for influenza A.
“We value the CDC’s profusion of caution and their partnership. None of the four guests reflected any clinical symptoms of coronavirus while they were on board our ship,” the company said.
The Norwegian cruise company announced that from now, “Any guests with a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passport, regardless of when they were there last, will not be accepted to board our ships.”
All the Royal Caribbean cruises will follow that policy; the company said, “until further notice.”
Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, the Quantum-class cruise ship, left Bayonne on January 27, as per its program, and sailed through the Caribbean and Puerto Rico before moving back to Bayonne on Friday morning.
CDC has cleared the ship for travel. However, the company said it would wait till it has received test reports for the suspected patients tomorrow.
“We have been cleared by the authorities to depart on our next cruise as usual. However, for the sake of our concerned guests, we’ll delay our departure until next morning, when we expect to collect final test results from the CDC.
When accessed by media reporters, Royal Caribbean refused to share how many people are on board the ship.
As of Friday, over 31,000 cases of the news coronavirus have been confirmed in more than two dozen countries across the globe, resulting in 636 deaths, mainly in China.
Shares of Royal Caribbean downed at least 4% at the close, after being checked by CDC for new coronavirus on Friday.
The Anthem of the Seas isn’t the first ship stopped and checked for the new coronavirus, as several other ships have also been caught in the middle of coronavirus outbreak. Costa’s Cruises Smeralda cruise ship docked in the north of Rome was checked for suspected cases of coronavirus, but allowed to disembark after reports of suspected passengers came negative.
Carnival’s Princess Cruises quarantined about 3,700 of its people on board on one of its ships near Japan after a guest, who didn’t have any clinical signs of the virus while aboard the ship, tested positive for the new coronavirus on Saturday, nearly six days after exiting the ship.
Almost 2,000 tourists are being detained on a cruise ship run by Genting’s Dream Cruises in Hong Kong and checked for the virus after some crew member reported symptoms associated with the illness.