Mauritius says cruise ship can dock after cholera scare

Mauritius says cruise ship can dock after cholera scare
Mauritius says cruise ship can dock after cholera scare

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - PORT LOUIS — Mauritius has given a Norwegian cruise ship the all clear to dock at the capital Port Louis after finding no evidence of cholera onboard.

At least 15 people on the Norwegian Dawn were in isolation with a stomach illness and authorities feared it was cholera.

The director of Mauritius Ministry of Health confirmed the passengers had gastroenteritis, not cholera.

Dr. Bhooshun Ori said the passengers have now "fully recovered".

Mauritian authorities had initially blocked the ship "to avoid any health risks".

The passengers developed mild symptoms of a stomach illness during a trip to South Africa, a representative of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said.

Mary Francovilla Dees, 69, a passenger on the Norwegian Dawn, told the BBC that despite the delay the atmosphere on the ship had been "fairly calm".

"The passengers on this ship have appeared to take this in their stride," she said.

Francovilla says passengers have entertained themselves by sitting by the pool, attending shows and going to the bar.

The passengers will be subject to screening by health authorities upon disembarking from the liner.

The Ministry of Health will provide medical assistance for all at the disembarkation point.

A Dutch passenger on board told BN DeStem that they were told by the captain that there could be a cholera outbreak on board.

Since January 2023, at least 188,000 people have been infected with cholera across seven countries in southern Africa, according to the UN.

More than 3,000 people have died, with Zambia being hardest hit.

South Africa has reported 1,076 cholera cases and at least 47 deaths over the past two years, according to Africa Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

"The health and safety of passengers as well as that of the country as a whole are of the utmost importance to the authorities," the Mauritius Ports Authority said.

The ship arrived in Mauritius on Saturday evening after arriving a day early because it did not stop in Réunion Island.

There are 2,184 passengers and 1,026 crew members on the ship. About 2,000 planned to disembark in Port Louis, with another 2,000 expected to board at the same time.

Those who were disembarking or joining the cruise will now do so on 27 February, the Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said. — BBC

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