A cruise vessel decided to skip Saint Lucia Wednesday, after health authorities here barred some passengers from disembarking, it has been reported.
But Saint Lucia did not prohibit the cruise ship from calling at Port Castries Wednesday over coronavirus fears, a local official says.
According to the official, the Costa Magica decided to bypass the Island after health authorities here decided that some Italian passengers could not disembark.
“We decided that those who posed a risk must stay on board,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity told St Lucia Times.
The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has jumped to 400, amid international efforts to contain the spread of the deadly outbreak, according to the BBC.
The rise in Italy, the main focus of infection in Europe, represented a 25% surge in 24 hours.
The Saint Lucia official who spoke to St Lucia Times on condition of anonymity disclosed that the cruise vessel with the Italians who were deemed to pose a risk, was scheduled to travel on to Martinique.
The French news website RCI.FM quoted the Italian cruise company as saying in a statement that although there were no suspected cases on board the Costa Magica, the vessel had to cancel its scheduled stopover in Saint Lucia.
The vessel was scheduled to dock in Martinique Thursday morning.
But several local associations have planned to demonstrate in front of the cruise terminal at the port of Fort-de-France, according to local reports.
According to RCI.FM, 300 Martinique passengers are on board the ship and are due to complete their cruise on Thursday.
There are 3,470 passengers on board in total.