Two passengers with fever disembark from a cruise ship in Shanghai

Jan 25, 2020

The spread of the deadly coronavirus is accelerating each day, as authorities rush to contain the deadly outbreak some countries respond with raising to the highest emergency level.

The situation in China and the neighboring countries is quite serious as the virus continues to spread. Following the recent developments, most of the cruise lines operating from China have canceled the upcoming voyages. The cancelations come after cruise lines announced they will only forbid boarding of passengers with higher-than-average body temperature, or passengers who live, or have visited Wuhan province in the past two weeks.

The Chinese news media reported of one incident involving cruise ship passengers at the port of Shanghai, Wusongkou Cruise International Terminal on January 24. According to the source, allegedly two passengers with fever and high body temperature from Wuhan province have disembarked from the cruise ship MSC Splendida in Shanghai.

The Chinese media states that the passengers were tested for coronavirus. One of them was cleared, while the lab results of the other patient are unknown.

It is not known how these passengers boarded the cruise liner knowing the prior issued notice which states that no one from Wuhan province is allowed to board the ship.

According to on-site sources, MSC Splendida disembarkation on January 24, needed to be completed by 11 am, but it took a few hours longer than originally scheduled. It was not until 3:30 pm that the new passengers started boarding the ship. The source also saw several ambulances parked in the port.

cruise ship in Shanghai

Chinese media report that most of the passengers who were scheduled to MSC Splendida were groups, from a number of travel agencies, many of them refused to board and the ship departed with 60% of the booked passengers. 

The passengers needed to fill in the "Boarding Health Information Questionnaire" before boarding the ship. Among others, the form included questions whether there is a Wuhan travel history within 2 weeks before boarding and if the individual had a fever or other symptoms similar to the virus in the past 2 weeks before boarding.

MSC Cruises said, "All guests who have recently lived or stayed in Wuhan and their close contacts have been banned from boarding. All guests must pass the customs temperature test before boarding, and those with fever symptoms are prohibited from boarding. Strict sanitation and disinfection procedures have been implemented, and the frequency and intensity of disinfection have been increased. All restaurant entrances are equipped with disinfectant. In addition, the on-board air conditioning system is in an external circulation state to ensure the fresh air circulation inside the ship that meets European air quality standards. "

Benarticle has also reported the latest news on MSC Splendida pointing that the company needs to investigate this incident because a cruise ship carries thousands of people. Cruise ships are densely populated structures in a relatively confined space, If there is a person-to-person transmission the consequences will be very serious.