Coronavirus: Costa Fortuna ship passengers with travel history to northern Italy and symptoms to be taken to hospital

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board earlier announced that the Costa Fortuna would be allowed to make its scheduled stop on March 10 at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board earlier announced that the Costa Fortuna would be allowed to make its scheduled stop on March 10 at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre.PHOTO: COSTA CRUISES

SINGAPORE - All passengers on board the Costa Fortuna cruise ship who have travelled to northern Italy in the last 14 days will be subjected to enhanced one-on-one checks for coronavirus infection when the cruise ship docks in Singapore on Tuesday morning (March 10).

The ship was previously rejected entry in Malaysia and Thailand.

Those on the ship who recently travelled to northern Italy and exhibit fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness will be taken directly to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

Those without symptoms will be taken directly to the airport for their flights, the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a joint statement on Monday night.

The three agencies said the checks will be carried out by doctors licensed by MOH.

As for the ship's remaining passengers entering Singapore, beyond those with travel history to northern Italy, they will undergo temperature screening as a precautionary measure.

The agencies said remaining passengers who exhibit fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness will be required to undergo a swab test for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Passengers who are identified for Covid-19 swab testing but refuse to do so will not be allowed entry into Singapore.

Earlier on Monday, MPA and STB announced that the Costa Fortuna would be allowed to make its scheduled stop at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre on Tuesday.

They also said that the doctor on the cruise ship would check on passengers and crew in order to ensure they are healthy before they disembarked the cruise ship.

The ship had made headlines after it was turned away by Malaysian and Thailand ports late last week over fears of Covid-19.

 
 

However, cruise operator Costa Cruise has said that all passengers on board are healthy and not showing any symptoms of the coronavirus.

MOH, MPA and STB said that over the past two weeks, Singapore has handled more than 10 scheduled calls by cruise ships and disembarked more than 5,000 passengers.

They said that Costa Fortuna begun its journey from Singapore two weeks ago, and was returning on Tuesday as scheduled.

Singapore is a home-port for the Italian cruise ship, and has received the ship 16 times since December, said the authorities.

"Like all other cruise ships departing from Singapore's cruise terminals, Costa Fortuna was disinfected prior to its departure from Singapore," they added.

 
 

"All its passengers also completed pre-embarkation checks based on prevailing policies for travel history and temperature screening as required by the cruise line and the terminal operator prior to boarding."

MOH, MPA and STB also said that the ship has not picked up any new passengers since it left Singapore on March 3, when it had docked for a scheduled stop as part of its 14-day itinerary.