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Costa Smeralda in Savona.jpg
Costa Smeralda is shown here during an earlier visit to Savona, one of the ports on this week's cruise

Costa Smeralda held in Civitavecchia on possible coronavirus case

Passengers ending a seven-day cruise on Costa Smeralda have not been allowed to disembark at Civitavecchia (Rome) today after a suspected case of coronavirus was reported on board.

Chinese woman and traveling companion placed in isolation

A 54-year-old Chinese woman from Macau was placed in isolation in Costa Smeralda’s hospital Wednesday night along with her traveling companion, in accordance with health protocols. Seatrade Cruise News understands blood samples from the couple were taken to the Spallanzani hospital in Rome for analysis.

Costa Cruises said its shipboard medical team immediately activitated protocols to isolate and manage the situation as soon as the suspected case was detected. The woman reportedly was experiencing flu-like symptoms.

The local health authority was promptly notified and officials are on board.

'The company is at [the] complete disposal of the health authority and their indication will be strictly applied,’ Costa said, adding it adheres to relevant national policies and epidemic protocols, as per World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indications.

Lockdown

The ship arrived to Civitavecchia Thursday morning, carrying 5,023 passengers and 1,628 crew. Some 1,143 passengers were scheduled to disembark. News outlets showed photos of people in coats with their luggage in the ship’s public rooms and corridors, waiting. For now, Costa Smeralda is effectively on lockdown. 

The ship was on the last day of a cruise that departed from Civitavecchia Jan. 23. The sailing visited La Spezia, Savona, Marseille, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.

So far, Costa hasn’t provided information about the next departure. Costa Smeralda was scheduled to sail for La Spezia at 7 p.m. local time, and 1,112 passengers were due to embark for that cruise in Civitavecchia.

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