Costa Smeralda has resumed her cruise program in the Mediterranean after spending a night in port in Civitavecchia (Rome) under quarantine due to a suspected case of coronavirus on-board.
The cruise began on January 23 and was scheduled to end on Thursday, but Italian authorities ordered all passengers and crew to remain on the ship after Costa informed them that one of the 6,000 passengers on-board was unwell.
“Costa Cruises have confirmed that Italian health officials diagnosed the passenger on board Costa Smeralda with the common flu,” the cruise line has now announced in a statement.
“Thanks to the protocols that are applied on board the fleet, last night our medical team promptly identified a suspected fever case in a 54-year-old woman, just a few hours before the ship’s arrival in Civitavecchia,” the statement added.
“As soon as the case was discovered, the required precautionary procedures were immediately taken. The relevant Authorities were informed and, on arrival of the ship in the port of Civitavecchia they carried out all the checks required.”
Costa Cruises said that the situation on-board the ship remained under control at all times, and all passengers aboard Costa Smeralda and those arriving at the terminal to begin the new cruise, were provided with the necessary assistance.
“While we appreciate the inconvenience caused, the procedures in force and our cooperation with the Health Authorities were effective in managing this situation and were intended to ensure maximum safety for all our guests, crew and the community as a whole,” the cruise line said.
Costa Smeralda remained docked at Civitavecchia until Friday to accommodate the delayed turnaround, and will depart at 6pm for Savona, skipping La Spezia, which was scheduled for Friday.
“Costa Cruises offered guests who should have disembarked Thursday in Civitavecchia the opportunity to stay overnight on board, organizing their return home from tomorrow morning,” the cruise line explained.
Costa also ensured that all guests supposed to embark Thursday in Civitavecchia were accommodated in hotels close to the port.
“Costa Cruises would like to thank Health Authorities, Coast Guard and the Ministries involved for their great support and organizational effort,” the cruise line said.
The scare comes as the World Health Organisation on Friday declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, after reported cases in China and elsewhere in the world rose significantly overnight, along with reported deaths.