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MSC Opera.jpg PHOTO: MSC CRUISES
The Malta prime minister's office said there was no evidence of coronavirus on board

MSC Opera bypasses Malta after threat of local protest

MSC Opera skipped its planned call in Malta today after what the government said was 'public alarm raised by misleading information.'

Doctors threatened industrial action

The prime minister's office said MSC Cruises agreed to bypass the island to 'avoid unnecessary public unrest.' Local doctors had threatened industrial action if MSC Opera were allowed to call.

Review shows no evidence of COVID-19

In a statement, the prime minister's office said a review of the ship's medical records found no evidence of coronavirus on board.

MSC Opera had visited Corfu Thursday after public health authorities gave the go-head there. The day before, Piraeus authorities had allowed the ship to continue without restrictions.

On Wednesday Austrian health authorities informed MSC Cruises that a man on MSC Opera's prior voyage, Feb. 17-28, tested positive for coronavirus March 3.

The Austrian man had returned directly home through northern Italy on Feb. 28 immediately after disembarking from his cruise in Genoa.

Next scheduled stop: Messina

MSC Opera's next scheduled call is Messina, Italy, on Sunday. 

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