Carnival Corporation and Costa Cruises report that Italian health officials have diagnosed a passenger onboard the Costa Smeralda as having the flu. The ship’s turnaround in Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, had been delayed Thursday while the passenger was tested for coronavirus.
Carnival Corp. said that the ship was cleared to resume its Mediterranean program on Friday. Guests who should have disembarked Thursday were given the option to either disembark or remain onboard overnight. All guests scheduled to embark Thursday were accommodated in hotels near the port Thursday night, with embarkation to take place Friday.
The disembarkation of the Costa Smeralda Thursday had been delayed when a 54-year-old woman from Macau began displaying symptoms of the flu. That woman and her traveling companion were placed in isolation in the ship’s hospital in accordance with health protocols while she underwent testing. The ship had 5,023 guests onboard at the time.
The Costa Smeralda had arrived in Civitavecchia January 30 on the last day of a seven-day cruise that had departed from the port on January 23. The itinerary had included La Spezia and Savona, Italy; Marseille, France; and Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Thursday afternoon the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared thee coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, citing the need to prevent the virus from spreading further to other countries, particularly those with weaker health systems. The outbreak has caused over 7,700 cases in China and 82 cases in 18 countries outside of China. 170 people have died due to the virus, all within China.