Cruise ship company denies reports of hundreds of sick passengers
A cruise ship reported to be carrying more than 250 passengers with upper respiratory symptoms denies illness, and is no longer imminently due to dock in Western Australia.
The MSC Magnifica is carrying more than 1700 people from Italy, France, and Germany and is currently on its way to Dubai.
MSC Cruises have rejected the reports, stating “there is no evidence to suggest that anyone on board may be infected with COVID-19.”
“All passengers and crew on board are well. No passengers or crew on board suffer from any respiratory diseases or present any flu-like symptoms.”
According to the statement, the ship will still stop for “a technical call” in Fremantle later in its schedule, with passengers to remain on the ship.
Nine News’ Gary Adshead reported earlier the vessel had “demanded it be allowed to stop and refuel.”
He told Ben Fordham the WA Police Commissioner and Defence Force were discussing asking the ship to sail on to a northern defense base after refuelling.
“Our people are saying they’re not sure our hospitals can cope with this.”
There are currently 140 COVID-19 cases in Western Australia, and one person has died.
FULL STATEMENT FROM MSC CRUISES:
“MSC Magnifica, operated by the Geneva, Switzerland-based MSC Cruises is currently on her way to Dubai, UAE.
Along her scheduled itinerary, the ship plans to call Fremantle in Western Australia for a technical call only. While there, neither passengers or crew will disembark as the ship only plans to bunker before she continues along her scheduled itinerary.
The ship had done the same at other technical calls along her itinerary, including in Sydney where passengers and crew remained on board during the technical-only call there.
All passengers and crew on board are well. No passengers or crew on board suffer from any respiratory diseases or present any flu-like symptoms. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone on board may be infected with COVID-19.”
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