Trinidad blocks cruise ship after gastro, flu outbreak on ship

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Luxurious cruise ship Caribbean Princess which was scheduled to dock in Port-of-Spain yesterday has been debarred from doing so due to dozens of sick passengers and crew on board the vessel.

The move was instituted by the Im-migration Division and Chief Medical Officer as a precautionary measure.

This came hours after Barbados’ chief medical officer Kenneth George confirmed that the vessel was denied clearance to dock at the Bridgetown Port yesterday, following reports that several passengers had fallen ill after boarding the ship. A document which local health, immigration and tourism workers received yesterday was leaked to the T&T Guardian stated that the chief medical officer and chief immigration officer have given “directives” to deny the arrival and clearance of the Caribbean Princess at the Port of Port-of-Spain on Monday.

“This decision was made in unanimity due to cases of illness such as acute gastroenteritis and influenza-like illness currently affecting an unusual amount of passengers and crew on board. While there are no confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus on board, our authorities have made this decision as a precaution given the circumstances,” the document stated.

Charles Carvalho, general manager of St James-based Carvalho Agencies—the shipping agent for Caribbean Princess in a telephone interview with Guardian Media yesterday confirmed that the ship has been prevented from docking here.

“Based on the situation not getting any better and seeing other ports taking precautions, the hotel and immigration authorities here have denied arrival of the ship in Trinidad tomorrow.”

Carvalho said 3,069 passengers are on the ship which set sail from Fort Lauderdale on February 2.