COVID-19: 1,400 cruise-passenger denied permission to dock at Mangaluru

- By Sagar Shere March 11, 2020

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Around 1,400 international cruise-passengers have been stranded after their cruise ship, MSC Lirica was denied permission to dock at Mangalore port by the authorities of New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). Officials said that they were acting as per the directive of the Ministry of Shipping on the prevention of coronavirus.

The ship, registered from the Republic of Panama (ROP), registered from the was scheduled to reach NMPT at around 6 am on Saturday morning along with its passengers and crew, stated by the NMPT official.

“We have all the equipment for screening, detection and quarantine system in place. However, following the decision taken by the Ministry of Shipping on March 5 to stop the disembarkation of the crew or passengers having travel history from the infected countries, we have not allowed the Cruise ship to dock at the port,” he said.

According to the ship’s schedule, MSC Lirica departed from Dubai on Saturday, 29 Feb 2020, had ported at Abu Dhabi (UAE), Khor Fakkan (UAE), Muscat, Oman and was to reach Mangalore on Saturday. It was to proceed to Goa and Mumbai port on Sunday and Monday, respectively. “But, given the directions and jurisdiction from the government, it is unlikely that the ship will get a clearance on those ports as well,” the NMPT authority said.

The officials stated that this measure had to be taken despite the crew of the ship convincing the port authorities that the passengers and its crew did not show any symptoms of coronavirus and were free from the viral infection. Meanwhile, Managing Director of Globe Travels William D'Souza said that being the local travel service provider, they had to look into the travel and services of 700 passengers of MSC Lirica who had opted for a ground tour in Mangaluru.