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More than 2,000 stranded on cruise liner in Phuket over Italian “risk” tourists

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: The Costa Fortuna - File photo

Over 2,000 passengers and crew on board the Costa Fortuna cruise liner, which arrived in Patong yesterday, have been denied permission to disembark. The ban comes after official confirmation that 64 Italians onboard left Italy in the past 14 days. The move follows the Thai government’s institution of a 14 day self-quarantine on all people arriving from China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, Iran and Italy. (See story here.)

The cruise ship arrived in Patong yesterday morning on a scheduled overnight stop, with 1,631 passengers, 984 crew and ship staff on board.

Genoa-based cruise operator Costa Crociere says the passengers are ‘all healthy’ and there are no suspected cases on board, according to Sky Italia.

“The health situation on board is clear and there is no suspected case on the ship among Italian or other nationalities.”

‘In a constantly changing situation, we confirm that the safety of our guests and crew members is a top priority.’

But according to Phuket immigration police:

“On board are three Chinese, two Singaporeans, 151 French nationals, 230 Germans and 282 Italians.”

The decision to forbid persons to disembark in Phuket follows confirmation that 64 of the Italians on the ship are suspected (not confirmed) of carrying Covid-19 coronavirus.

“While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the ship, all people on board are a health risk and they must remain in quarantine for 14 days.”

“They must stay on the ship, and the ship must remain about two nautical miles from shore.”

“Next we will have to discuss what is to be done with other cruise ships scheduled to come to Phuket. We need to talk with the Phuket Governor before we can make any decisions regarding those.”

SOURCE: Mail Online | The Phuket News

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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