(SNO) – A cruise ship, which was denied entry into several Caribbean islands including Saint Lucia, will not be allowed to dock in Martinique because there are several sick people on board and coronvirus is suspected.
The Costa Magica was expected to dock in Fort-de-France on Thursday, March 12, but 24 hours before its arrival, the prefecture of Martinique and the French Regional Health Agency (ARS) said there were at least five sick people on board.
In a press release on Wednesday both agencies said the sick people are likely carriers of the deadly virus.
According to La 1ère website, the ship, with 300 Martiniquans and 200 Italians among its passengers, will not be allowed to stop in Fort-de-France until all doubts of the presence of the virus is removed.
New procedures have been put in place for the ship by French authorities.
When it approaches Martinique, it will be placed under temporary quarantine three miles off the coast.
Samples will then be taken from the patients and taken to the University Hospital Center for analysis.
Pending the results, everyone on the ship will be locked on board.
Reports are that some the 200 Italian passengers on board the ship traveled from Milan to Paris, just before Milan (a city in northern Italy) was quarantined due to the virus.
The Milan region in Italy has been heavily hit with over 4,000 positive cases and 267 deaths.
All of Italy is now under quarantine.
There have been three positive cases of the coronavirus in Martinique.