Cruise ship docked in Sydney Harbour denies reports of passenger tested for coronavirus

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

Norwegian Cruise Line has denied a passenger on board one of their cruise ships docked in Sydney Harbour has been taken for testing over coronavirus fears.

The Australian reported it understands a man arriving in Sydney on the Norwegian Jewel was being tested by NSW Health after he fell ill with a respiratory complaint.

However in a statement to Yahoo News Australia, a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson denied any passengers have displayed coronavirus symptoms.

“We have no guests with any respiratory-related illness on board. The vessel remains in operation, and all guests on board are in good health,” a spokesperson said.

”There are various false, inflammatory media reports regarding the ship. There is absolutely no truth to those stories.”

The Norwegian Jewel docked in Circular Quay. Source: 7News

The spokesperson said several guests had fallen ill with a stomach-related illness and “stringent sanitation procedures” were taken to mitigate any impact.

A “thorough inspection and rigorous cleaning and disinfection” of the ship was also performed on Friday.

The vessel arrived from New Zealand on Friday morning and passengers have since disembarked after initially being kept on board.

The cruise ship has a passenger capacity of 2,376.

A NSW Health spokesperson said one person had been tested for a respiratory illness as a precaution but there was “no indication” they had contracted coronavirus.

“As cruise ships have large number of passengers (often thousands), many of whom are older and have chronic medical conditions, passengers often require medical management while on the cruise or on disembarkation, unrelated to infectious diseases,” they said.

“As part of this effort, passengers on a cruise ship arriving into Sydney this morning were assessed.

“None had been in China in the previous 14 days and there was no outbreak of any disease on board.

“There were three routine medical transfers, none related to respiratory illness. One person has been tested for respiratory illness on board with results expected this afternoon.”

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