Sydney cruise locked down on virus fear

Clay Curtis
February 16, 2020

Passengers arriving in Sydney on a cruise ship from New Zealand on Sunday will be assessed as a "safeguard", the health authority said in a statement.

He has been taken from the ship.

"Due to growing concerns regarding coronavirus in Asia, the ports we planned to visit in Vietnam are no longer open to accepting cruise ships", the Norwegian Cruise Line said.

NSW Health on Friday said one person from the Norwegian Jewel - who was tested purely as a precautionary measure - had been cleared of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Earlier in the day, operator Norwegian Cruise Line reassured the public that all passengers were in "good health" after false reports it had been placed in lockdown.

Three routine medical transfers from the ship occurred on Friday unrelated to respiratory illness. "There is absolutely no truth to those stories".

Authorities in Vietnam's Quang Ninh province - home to the UNESCO world heritage site Ha Long Bay - barred passengers on the German-owned AIDAvita cruise ship to disembark on Thursday, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said.

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"To mitigate any impact of this rare occurrence, we implemented stringent sanitation procedures".

The cruise ship arrived in Sydney from Auckland on Friday morning, docking at the global passenger terminal at Circular Quay.

The itinerary of the Norwegian Jewel, which has docked in Sydney after visiting posts around New Zealand.

A "thorough inspection and rigorous cleaning and disinfection" of the ship was also performed on Friday.

It is unclear if patient has COVID-19. 174 passengers are now confirmed to be infected with coronavirus as Japanese authorities continue treating people on board.

This follows news from yesterday that there were almost 50k new coronavirus cases in Hubei province, a surge of 45% amid new image scans, has seen the market revert to a risk-off tone which is weighing on NZD and AUD.

'There is no illness onboard the ship and no guests or crew members on the ship who hold Chinese, Macau or Hong Kong passports or have visited or transited through any of these areas, ' he said.

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