After being turned away from two ports in the Caribbean over coronavirus fears, the MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia ship has arrived in Mexico and will dock in the port of Cozumel.
The Meraviglia, which is carrying over 6,000 people, was denied entry at permission to dock in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands on Tuesday after it was reported that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. Local authorities feared the man may be sick with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Meraviglia reached the West Coast of Cozumel on Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m. ET, a spokesperson for MSC Cruises told Fox News on Thursday. The ship has berthed at Cozumel and currently awaits health officials, who will board and complete customary checks.
The ship departed Miami on Sunday and was scheduled to complete a 15-day cruise of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras, returning to Miami on March 8, per an itinerary.
The Meraviglia ship is said to be carrying over 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members.
Following the ship's double denials in the Caribbean, MSC said in a Wednesday statement that the crew member was ultimately diagnosed with the common seasonal flu, not the coronavirus. The man remains in stable condition and has nearly recovered after receiving anti-viral treatment and medication.
“Out of precaution, he was isolated from other crew members and guests from the moment that he showed symptoms and will remain so until he is fully recovered. No other cases of type A influenza have been reported on board MSC Meraviglia,” the cruise line said. “Moreover, no cases of COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) have been reported on board MSC Meraviglia or any other ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet.”
MSC also claimed that the sick crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening before embarking on the ship over the weekend.
The cruise company further apologized to its guests for the missed stops in Ocho Rios and Georgetown.
It remains unclear exactly if and when those aboard the Meraviglia will be allowed to disembark in Cozumel, Reuters reports. Mexico’s Health Ministry said that the MSC cruise ship was granted “free pratique” (permission) to enter the Cozumel port after it was determined that the vessel posed no risk of spreading disease.
As of Thursday morning, the coronavirus had infected more than 82,000 people globally, while the death toll has risen to at least 2,800.