Coronavirus cruise: Ship turned away from port amid virus panic

A cruise ship due to dock in the south-east of Asia was denied entry to a port by authorities in Myanmar over coronavirus fears. The Silver Spirit had recently visited Phuket, Thailand, before setting sail for Myanmar.


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Thailand currently has 43 confirmed cases of the virus.

The luxury liner, operated by Monaco-based Silversea Cruises, was due to dock at Thilawa before it was stopped by port authorities due to its previous location.

Though the ship had not reported any cases on board, health officials said they did not know if anyone was showing symptoms of the virus.

“We have informed the port authorities that the entry of this ship should not be allowed,” said Khin Maung Soe, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

“Even if passengers haven’t shown the symptoms so far, they might when they arrive in Myanmar and it will be difficult for the country to control.

“If things get worse, our people might get affected.”

On a statement posted to its Facebook page, the Ministry of Health for Myanmar said the ship should not be allowed to dock due to having visited a destination where the infection rate was high.

There is no update as to where the ship will sail to next.

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It is thought that there are over 400 guests on board, their nationalities are not yet confirmed.

The news comes following a heightened fear surrounding cruise ships as incubation zones after a quarantined Princess Cruises ship saw over 700 cases on board.

After the first case of the virus was detected in a passenger on board, the ships as placed in lockdown for two weeks off the coast of Yokohama.


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As the quarantine period continued more passengers came down with the disease.

Seven passengers are reported to have died as a result.

A Princess Cruises ship also became the target of angry protestors when it docked on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean on Sunday morning.

The angry residents had gathered to demand that all passengers were tested for coronavirus before disembarking from the ship.

According to The Guardian, police used teargas on the crowds who threw pebbles and bottles at the security forces.

Despite the chaos, the passengers were allowed to disembark for various excursions around the island.

A Princess Cruises spokesperson told “A disruption on Reunion Island was quickly contained by the local authorities and we would like to thank them for their assistance. There was an overall limited impact for Sun Princess guests. There are no health concerns on the ship and it is now heading to Perth, its final port of call, after departing Reunion Island.”

Coronavirus has currently been detected in 81 countries worldwide.

The current infection rate has surpassed 93,000, while the fatality rate has surpassed.

On the other hand, over 51,000 patients are reported to have made a full recovery.

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